Obesity carries grave health consequences, including increased risk for coronary heart disease, diabetes, certain cancers (e.g., breast, colon), hypertension, stroke, and osteoarthritis. In addition, increased risk of depression, anxiety, and stigmatization, are only a few of the psychosocial consequences of obesity. Unfortunately this trend is also present in black children and adolescents, resulting in black children to likely face a lifelong struggle with obesity and resulting poor health and psychosocial outcomes. Collaborative partnerships between academic institutions and faith-based organizations, specifically churches, may be one of the most optimal mediums for intervention development. Building upon an existing research partnership with black churches in Houston, the proposed project plans seeks to use community- based approaches to test the feasibility and acceptability of Parent and Family interventions to address obesity in black families. The Parent and Family interventions will involve health coaching, resource navigation provided by church-based Community Health Workers, and church-based support groups. The difference in the interventions is the focus on the parent vs. the family. Houston-area black churches (n=6) will be recruited to participate. Parent/child dyads (n=10 per church) will be enrolled and randomized to three groups (Parent Intervention, Family Intervention, Delayed Comparison Intervention). The interventions will be piloted over 6 months.
The proposed project builds on a successful community-academic partnership between MD Anderson Cancer Center and Windsor Village United Methodist Church (WVUMC) in Houston, TX. The proposed project plans to use community-based approaches to develop practical and impactful Parent and Family interventions to address obesity in black families.