Clinical Trial Spotlight: Obesity in children

November 07, 2019

Image with file name: ObeseStock1001.jpg

Ph.D. candidate Jordan Lill is seeking participants for his study, "Predicting reinforcers to increase physical activity in young children with obesity using the 'Six-Minute Walk Test.'" (IRB#: 416-19-EP)
About the study:
Most interventions to increase physical activity in children who are obese fail because of a nonspecific, "one-size-fits-all" approach. Lill's study addresses the potential for treatment failure by identifying specific and individualized preferences that can be leveraged as reinforcers (or rewards) for physical activity. For example, some children may be more physically active when earning a specific prize while others may be more active when given praise or playing with an adult.
Lill is the research lead under the advisement of Mark Shriver, Ph.D. The study is in fulfillment of Ph.D. requirements. The team is using applied behavior analytic technology to identify reinforcers that increase physical activity.
During the assessment procedures, children will receive different rewards for walking. Rewards may include preferred methods of praise, walking with the child, and earning points to turn in for preferred items.
This is the first study to use this type of experimental analysis with children with obesity to identify reinforcers to use in treatment. It is hoped that this study will identify procedures that identify reinforcers to individualize treatments to increase physical activity in children with obesity.
The study is seeking children:
  • Between the ages 3 and 5;
  • Who meet CDC criteria for obesity (BMI greater than 95th percentile);
  • Who engage in low levels of physical activity; and
  • Who walk without assistance.
Participants are expected:

  • To walk for six minutes at a time;
  • To participate in the study at the Munroe-Meyer Institute; and
  • To be available for 90 minutes for two to four days (180 to 360 minutes to complete the study) over two to four weeks.
Participants will receive:

  • Results of the analysis; and
  • A plan that is associated with the greatest improvements of physical activity.
To express interest in participating, parents and legal guardians of children between the ages 3 and 5 can contact:
Jordan Lill by email or 402-559-5880.


Fill out the following. We welcome respectful comments pertaining to the subject of the article. Comments are subject to approval by UNMC.

Name (Required)

Email (Required)

Thank you, your comment will appear below once it has been approved.