Physical activity and its relationship to changes in weight, subcutaneous fat and health in very young infants with Down syndrome (from 1-6 months of age)


Children with Down syndrome are at high risk of being overweight or obese by age 3. The risk level increases with age. It is our view based on current medical, nutritional, and exercise science that we do not know when this risk begins but that it begins very early in life. This study will assist us in filling in the gaps of knowledge related to Down syndrome and rapid weight gain seen in this population. No one is studying how physical activity influences this condition. Quoting Aristotle, “He who sees things from their beginning will have the finest view of them”. It is critical that we view physical activity, weight gain and body fat starting the first month of life in an effort to develop the scientific knowledge needed to help reduce the significant risk through the design of innovative interventions. The first step in this scientific journey is to determine whether physical activity during the first 6 months of life is related to weight and fat gains seen in all babies.

We would travel to your home to conduct a 20 minute data collection once each month starting the first month of your infant’s life and ending when your infant is 6 months of age. We will assess your infant’s level of physical activity, their body length, their body weight, and your infant’s motor skill development. We will ask parents to keep a log of the frequency of illnesses the infant experiences each month requiring a visit to their doctor. Parents will be paid for their monthly participation.

Contact: for more information or to volunteer for this project, please email Dale Ulrich at or call him at 734-615-1904.

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Your Kinesiology Connection

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