Young children who are overweight or at risk for overweight are at increased risk for becoming obese as young adults and developing type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. To date, there have been no interdisciplinary interventions that targeted predominantly ethnic minority low-income children and parents and taught them to work together to improve nutrition and exercise. Using a two-group, repeated measures experimental design, this proposed study will test a 12-week intensive intervention on nutrition, exercise and coping skills (Phase I) and 9 months of continued monthly contact (Phase II) to help overweight 3rd to 4th grade children and their parents improve self-efficacy, health behaviors, weight status, and adiposity. The study will take this intervention to the community in which children and parents live, using four schools in Alamance-Burlington County, NC, and four schools in Wilson County in the early evening for gymnasium and classroom space. A total of 340 Black, Hispanic, and White children with a BMI >85th percentile and 340 parents with a BMI >25 kg/m2 will be inducted over 3 1/2 years and randomized by school to either the experimental or control group. Data will be collected at T1 (Baseline), T2 (Post Phase l-lntensive Intervention), T3 (Post Phase Il-Continued Contact), and T4 (6-Month Follow-Up). Data collected will include scores on the Health Promoting Lifestyle Profile II in the parents;eating self-efficacy in the children (CATCH) and parents (Eating Self-Efficacy Scale) and exercise self-efficacy in the children (CATCH) and parents (Exercise Self-Efficacy);health behaviors in the children and parents (3 Day 24-Hour Food Recall and 4 Day Accelerometry Measurement);weight status in the children (BMI percentile) and parents (BMI);and adiposity in the children and parents (waist circumference and triceps and subscapular skinfolds. Data analysis will use general linear mixed models to test the hypotheses. Decreasing overweight in children and parents is urgently needed, and helping children and parents to work together to improve their nutrition and exercise patterns by making small lifestyle pattern changes may decrease future health care costs and decrease morbidity and mortality. Relevance to public health: The knowledge to be gained from this study may provide a foundation for extending this intervention to other Black, Hispanic, and White children and parents in other communities to assist them to manage their weight.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR)
Research Project (R01)
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Study Section
Nursing Science: Children and Families Study Section (NSCF)
Program Officer
Weglicki, Linda
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University of North Carolina Chapel Hill
Schools of Nursing
Chapel Hill
United States
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Berry, Diane C; McMurray, Robert G; Schwartz, Todd A et al. (2017) A cluster randomized controlled trial for child and parent weight management: children and parents randomized to the intervention group have correlated changes in adiposity. BMC Obes 4:39
McMurray, Robert G; Berry, Diane C; Schwartz, Todd A et al. (2016) Relationships of physical activity and sedentary time in obese parent-child dyads: a cross-sectional study. BMC Public Health 16:124
Berry, Diane C; Neal, Madeline; Hall, Emily Gail et al. (2013) Recruitment and retention strategies for a community-based weight management study for multi-ethnic elementary school children and their parents. Public Health Nurs 30:80-6
Berry, Diane C; McMurray, Robert; Schwartz, Todd A et al. (2012) Rationale, design, methodology and sample characteristics for the family partners for health study: a cluster randomized controlled study. BMC Public Health 12:250
Berry, Diane; Savoye, Mary; Melkus, Gail et al. (2007) An intervention for multiethnic obese parents and overweight children. Appl Nurs Res 20:63-71