News Release

Infants and toddlers up to 5 years old can participate in Shape Up! Keiki study at Pennington Biomedical

The Shape Up! Keiki, funded through a $3.1M grant from the National Institute of Health, includes Pennington Biomedical and University of Hawaiʻi Cancer Center

Business Announcement

Pennington Biomedical Research Center

The Pennington Biomedical Research Center is looking for children 5 years old and younger to participate in the Shape Up! Keiki research study. The purpose of the Shape Up! Keiki research study is to create a better way to measure and describe health from body shape.

“Parents can learn more about their child’s health by joining the Shape Up! Keiki study, while also providing important information that will help us find quick ways to measure obesity status and health based on a child’s body shape,” said Dr. Steven Heymsfield, Professor and Director of the Body Composition-Metabolism Laboratory at the Pennington Biomedical. “The goal is that this study is for us to have a better understanding of which young children are at high risk of metabolic consequences of obesity.”

To qualify for this research study, your child should be 5 years of age or younger. The study is free to join, and participants will be compensated $200 for their time.

“At Pennington Biomedical our mission is to discover triggers of chronic disease through innovative research that improves human health across the lifespan,” said Dr. John Kirwan, Executive Director of Pennington Biomedical. “That starts with infants and children. If we can better measure and identify obesity risks early on, treatment and prevention measures can begin so we can improve long-term health outcomes.”

The Shape Up! Keiki research study was funded through a $3.1M grant from the National Institute of Health. Heymsfield and Pennington Biomedical are partnering with University of Hawaiʻi Cancer Center researcher John Shepherd on the project.

For more information on this study or to screen online, visit, call 225-763-3000 or email

About the Pennington Biomedical Research Center

The Pennington Biomedical Research Center is at the forefront of medical discovery as it relates to understanding the triggers of obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer and dementia. The Center architected the national “Obecity, USA” awareness and advocacy campaign to help solve the obesity epidemic by 2040. The Center conducts basic, clinical, and population research, and is affiliated with LSU.

The research enterprise at Pennington Biomedical includes over 480 employees within a network of 40 clinics and research laboratories, and 13 highly specialized core service facilities. Its scientists and physician/scientists are supported by research trainees, lab technicians, nurses, dietitians, and other support personnel. Pennington Biomedical a state-of-the-art research facility on a 222-acre campus in Baton Rouge.

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