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Using music to manage obesity in children

Kai Ling Kong, PhD, MS, discusses the results of a recent study revealing that music intervention can be used to prevent obesity in children.

In this interview, Kai Ling Kong, PhD, MS, discussess how obesity affects children, along with the potential of using music as a motivator to prevent childhood obesity.

According to Kong, infants obese in the first 2 years of life have a much higher risk of being obese later in life. Childhood obesity can also lead to severe outcomes such as higher physical and mental delays, hospitalization rates, and respiratory problems.

For infants aged 9 to 15 months who have high motivation to eat, nonfood stimuli can be used as a form of intervention, introducing other activities that can compete with food motivation.

Kong's research found that a variety of nonfood interventions can be introduced to children's lives, helping reduce their motivation to eat from a young age. Music in particular not only counters obesity outcomes, but can also lead to language improvement and quality of parent-infant interactions.

Kong suggest that policy makers include more funding in arts, gym activities, and music at school to help counteract obesity.