Board of Advocates Pea Pod Campaign

Board of Advocates : Pea Pod Campaign


Do you ever wonder if your weight and health status could affect the health of your baby?
Can you imagine if you were able to know shortly after birth if your child is at a higher risk to be overweight or for health concerns like diabetes?

David A. Fields, Ph.D., Children’s Hospital Foundation Chickasaw Nation Chair of Endocrinology/Diabetes at Children’s Hospital, is conducting research to determine the effects of mother’s health status and weight on her newborn baby. This research is conducted by a machine called a “Pea Pod.” The current device, purchased in 2004, is one of only six in the world and was made possible by a generous gift from donors just like you to Children’s Hospital Foundation.

This machine was the first to show that babies from obese mothers are already overweight at birth. Experts know a large baby is likely to develop into an overweight adult, and a small baby is at higher risk of developing diabetes, cardiovascular disease and metabolic syndrome. The device measures the baby’s body fat to determine what is lean and what is fat. Dr. Fields has also been able to determine a correlation between the amount of fructose corn syrup in breast milk and a high diabetes risk in children. Knowing this valuable information from infancy could change the course of a child’s life, saving their family time and money in diagnostic tests.

Dr. Fields says, “We’re trying to recruit mothers across the gamut in terms of skinny moms, heavy moms, diabetic moms, gestational diabetic moms. And then we’re looking at the impact of their weight status and diabetic status on the baby.”

The range of subjects will help him to gather the strongest research possible. About 6% of Dr. Fields research subjects are also clinic patients.

The goal of this research is to lead to answers that can help doctors take steps to ensure children stay as healthy as possible as they grow up. With your help, Children’s Hospital Foundation will be able to fund the purchase of a new Pea Pod machine. Over the past 13 years, the machine has deteriorated and and after the service contract ended in August of 2017, the current Pea Pod is no longer functional and cannot be used. Unfortunately, measuring body composition of newborns is not required by the Oklahoma Health Department or U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Without funding for a new Pea Pod, Dr. Fields will no longer be able to conduct his research and continue to build a strong research study that could help save lives in the future.

Will you consider committing to help raise $135,000 for the purchase of a new Pea Pod? The Board of Advocates have a unique opportunity to help fund an important piece in caring for Oklahoma’s youngest citizens.


Support Pea Pod research and help keep Oklahoma's kids healthy.

Gifts to Children’s Hospital Foundation will positively affect lives---and save lives, too---for many years to come. Your investment will help to strengthen care, deepen sacred encounters and enhance the health of our community. Your support will help to provide advanced care and advanced healing--benefiting you and those you love.

For more information about you can help, contact Kathy McCracken, Executive Director at 405-271-2260 or via email at

For more information about the Board of Advocates, contact Stephanie Reid, Board of Advocates Coordinator at 405-271-2260, 35190 or via email at