Researcher believes Web site can change young people’s habits

Topic: College of Applied Sciences and Technology

March 27, 2008

After spending decades working with college and professional athletes, Ball State strength researcher David Pearson now is using his expertise to assist high school students.

Pearson, director of the strength research laboratory and associate professor of physical education at Ball State, is reaching out to young athletes through information and videos posted at Stack.com.

Stack is the nation's leading producer and distributor of sports performance, training and lifestyle content for high school athletes and the high school sports community. Stack provides free advice on how to safely and effectively boost performance without the use of anabolic steroids or other illegal drugs.

Pearson, who has served as a consultant to Division I colleges and professional sports teams, has research interests in enhancing athletic abilities, strength and power, and nutritional supplements.

He is a featured expert for Stack, sharing advice as to how young athletes can determine their daily protein needs and how best to go about gaining lean mass. He also is an authority on the role glutamine and branched-chained amino acids in the body.

Avoiding health problems
A regular contributor to fitness magazines, Pearson said he was drawn to the project because America's youth population is facing a health crisis of unimaginable proportions.

"It's become very evident to me that we need to somehow get better information about diet and exercise to young people," he said. "The number of young people suffering from obesity and diabetes is incredible. A recent report from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that 50 percent of American children born in 2010 will have some sort of diabetes-related health problem by adulthood. Unless we do something, we could lose another generation to unhealthy eating and lifestyle habits.

"This Web site is a free informational tool that young people can use to improve their lives."

Sarah Gearhart, Stack's assistant director of content, said the firm sought out Pearson because of his expertise on performance enhancement through nutritional supplementation for athletes, particularly protein powders, which is a hot topic among young athletes. 

"Since we're geared primarily toward high school athletes, I hope our audience will gather more awareness about the role of protein supplementation in their diets," Gearhart said. "There are several videos with Professor Pearson already on the Fuel channel on Stack TV, our online video platform that features interviews with professional athletes, top strength coaches and nutritionists, among other experts." 

Encouraging good habits
Pearson said young people should establish strong exercise and dietary habits while still in high school, setting the stage for a healthier lifestyle in the years to come.

 "Young people burn the candle at both ends, and then their lives change when they enter college, leaving less time for exercise," he said. "You just can't stop exercising and keep eating the same. Habits started when you are young will carry through life, providing the basis for health as we age."

So far, Pearson is featured in six videos on Stack.com. Watch the videos.


 

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