How taking part in a clinical trial can be good for your child’s health [Sponsored]

Sponsored by Pennington Biomedical Research Center


What if your child could improve their own health and that of future generations through cutting-edge research? 

There are many opportunities to do so by taking part in clinical trials at Pennington Biomedical Research Center, where world-renowned researchers are exploring ways to improve human health from the womb to adulthood.

Children who take part in such studies have access to innovative research and are able to learn more about healthy living. This experience can potentially enhance their lives and help them become healthier adults. Another benefit: being immersed in the exciting world of science.

Right now, children can participate in research at Pennington Biomedical that will address their current health concerns, explore their family history, evaluate habits and behaviors, and give them tools to apply now and carry with them throughout their lives. These are often conducted with their pediatrician’s partnership and support.

Many of the studies are focused on lifestyle, examining the impact of diet, exercise and metabolism. Others provide access to new medications under review to prevent or treat medical conditions. 

The Center has a special pediatric wing specifically for children who are taking part in these studies.

“Research discoveries take years to complete,” says Professor Leanne Redman, who is engaged in breakthrough research on infant metabolism and breast milk. “These programs will become standard health protocol. When people participate, they gain access to the very latest technology, state of the art approaches, insights and treatment they would otherwise not receive.”

What influences metabolism in babies? Which indoor exercise can be as effective as those outdoors for young children? How is body shape related to physical strength and heart health? And how do girls use different foods to provide energy for physical activity?  

These are just some of the questions Pennington Biomedical researchers hope to answer with the help of young clinical trial participants, from infancy to adolescence.

Another trial examines how children and families lose weight together and become healthier through healthy eating and physical activity. And two additional studies involve medications—one to treat Type 2 diabetes in children and adolescents; another to determine whether medication can lower body weight in children with obesity.

From conception through early childhood, adolescence and adulthood, Pennington Biomedical’s research is impactful, exciting, and a gift to those who participate.

Says Nicole Fearnbach, director of Pennington’s Pediatric Energy Balance Laboratory: “We are driven by our passion to find out how we can best set kids up for a healthy life.”

There are many safety measures in place to protect volunteers involved in clinical research, with special protections for children. If you and your child decide that you are interested in taking part in a clinical trial, there is a consent process that you both will be part of that covers specifics of the trial and potential benefits and risks.