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Children's Nutrition Research Center - Faculty

Houston, Texas

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Children's Nutrition Research Center - Faculty
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William W. Wong, Ph.D.

William W. Wong, Ph.D.Professor of Pediatrics, Baylor College of Medicine


Research Interests

Health Benefits of Soy in Menopausal Women and Intervention of Childhood Obesity

My main research involves studies of dietary supplementation to prevent chronic diseases and intervention of childhood obesity.

As the project director of a USDA-funded multi-center 2-year follow-up, randomized, double blind, and placebo-controlled study, I am working to determine the safety, efficacy, and optimal dosage of soy isoflavones to prevent osteoporosis in postmenopausal women. Four hundred multi-ethnic, healthy, postmenopausal women have been enrolled in the study. One-third of these women received a placebo, one-third received isoflavone supplementation at 80 mg/day; and the remaining one-third received isoflavone supplementation at 120 mg/day. To monitor safety, mammograms, well-woman examinations, Pap smears, stool guaiac tests, and clinical blood chemistries will be performed. To monitor efficacy, total body and regional bone mineral content and density, as well as biochemical bone markers, will be measured. To determine the optimal dosage, changes in bone measurements will be related to blood isoflavone concentrations. Osteoporosis awareness programs including science-based information on the health benefits of soy isoflavones, conducted by the Cooperative Extension Service, will improve the knowledge and skills of consumers enabling them to make informed food choices. I am also the Principal Investigator of an on-going NIH-funded project to determine the potential health benefits of soy isoflavone supplementation to prevent high blood pressure among postmenopausal women. Areas of future focus will include the potential health benefits of botanicals against cardiovascular disease, diabetes, infectious disease, and cancer.

I was the principal investigator of a Texas Department of Health-funded project to determine the prevalence and risk factors of childhood obesity in Texas . The study showed that approximately 36% of the students attending public schools within the Houston Independent School District were overweight, 19% of whom were obese. The percentage of students who were overweight or obese was higher among African Americans and Hispanics than among Caucasians. Areas of future focus will include studies to assess the effectiveness of school-based and community-based programs to prevent excessive weight gains among elementary-school aged children.

Kamp K’aana

Kamp K’aana, a fun-based and skill-learning summer camp program for obese children is now opened for enrollment. Children must be between 10 and 14 years old with a BMI greater than the 95th percentile. The Kamp K’aana 2009 program runs from August 2 to August 16 at Camp Cho-Yeh in Livingston, Texas. The program includes three reunions: November 14, 2009, February 6, 2010, and July 10, 2010. The camp fee is $1,400 and there is a 10% discount for BCM employees or a 5% discount for family enrolling more than one child. The fee includes the 2-week summer camp program and the three reunions. Some scholarships may be available for low-income families. For more information, call 832-822-4780 or visit

Representative Publications

Bush CL, Pittman S, McKay S, Ortiz T, Wong WW, Klish WJ. Park-based obesity intervention program for inner city minority children. J Pediatr 151: 513-517, 2007.

Galpin L, Thakwalakwa C, Phuka J, Ashorn P, Maleta K, Wong WW, Manary MJ. Breast milk intake is not reduced more by the introduction of energy dense complementary food than by typical infant porridge. J Nutr 137: 1828-1833, 2007.

Ramirez A, Wong WW, Shulman RJ. Factors regulating gastric emptying in preterm infants. J Pediatr 149: 475-479, 2006.

Pohl JF, Anding J, Wong WW, Grimes R, Varni JW, Olvera N, Bush J, Butte N, O’Rear J, Hasan Rajab M, Watts M, Kim HS, Booth T, Kjar D, Burwinkle T, Wilson D, Klish W. Pediatric obesity in Texas: Does the Texas Public School Nutrition Policy affect child nutrition? Texas Medicine 102: 47-57, 2006.

Ellis KJ, Yao M, Shypailo RJ, Urlando A, Wong WW, Heird WC. Body composition assessment in infancy: air displacement plethysmorgraphy compared with a 4-compartment model. Am J Clin Nutr 85: 90-95, 2006.

Shulman RJ, Wong WW, Smith EO. Influence of changes in lactase activity and small intestinal mucosal growth on lactose digestion and absorption in the preterm infant. Am J Clin Nutr 81: 472-479, 2005.

Ma G, Yao M, Liu Y, Lin A, Zou H, Urlando A, Wong WW, Nommsen-Rivers L, Dewey KG. Validation of a new pediatric air displacement plethysmorgraph for assessing body composition in infants. Am J Clin Nutr 79: 653-660, 2004.

Masse LC, Fulton JE, Watson KL, Mahar MT, Meyer M, Wong WW. Influence of body composition on physical activity validation studies using doubly labeled water. J Appl Physiol 96: 1357-1364, 2004.

Butte NF, Wong WW, Treuth MS, Ellis KJ, Smith EO. Energy requirements during pregnancy based on total energy expenditure and energy deposition. Am J Clin Nutr 79: 1078-1087, 2004.

Ellis KJ, Shypalio RS, Steinberg FM, Lewis RD, Young RL, Wong, WW. Reproducibility of fan-beam DXA measurements in adults and phantoms. J Clin Densitometry 7: 413-418, 2004.

Fraley JK, Klish WJ, Myres D, Smith EO, Hollier DR, Wong WW. Risk factors for childhood obesity in an urban public school population. J Children’s Health 2: 1-11, 2004.

Wong WW, Hollier DR, Myres D, Fraley JK, Smith EO, Klish WJ. Prevalence of childhood acanthosis nigricans in a multiethnic pediatric population. J Children’s Health 1 (3): 305-317, 2003

Wong WW, Hollier DR, Myres D, Fraley JK, Smith EO, Klish WJ. Prevalence of overweight in a multiethnic pediatric population. J Children’s Health 1 (4): 477-487, 2003.

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