Childhood obesity rates in the Lower Yakima Valley of Washington State are alarming: 34% of youth are obese compared to the state average of 23%. A large proportion of those children are Hispanic; Hispanics represent 47% of the population in Yakima County and 67% of the population in the Lower Yakima Valley. In January 2013, we received a planning grant from the National Institute of Minority Health and Health Disparities (R24 MD008068; PI: L. Ko) to build and enhance community capacity and infrastructure on childhood obesity initiatives in the Lower Yakima Valley. This project began with the community as they expressed concern at the high incidence of obesity among Hispanic children in the Valley. In the ensuing two and a half years, we used community-based participatory research (CBPR) to 1) form a community advisory board (CAB); 2) build a Steering Committee; 3) conduct a comprehensive multi-level needs assessment; 4) develop and institute a pilot study; and 5) evaluate our activities. In response to RFA MD-15-010, we are now prepared to implement the intervention activities that were successful in our pilot study into a large-scale quasi-experimental intervention trial. The multi-level interventions will include activities at the individual level, family level, school level, and community level. Activities incude distributing comic books to students about healthy eating and physical activity, a multi-generational level family intervention that teaches families about healthy eating and cooking skills as well as physical activity, a variety of school events to teach children about the food industry as well as encourage them to be physically activity at small intervals in the classroom, and community activities to foster the idea of the community being a healthy place for kids. The overall goal of this project is to continue to use a CBPR approach; in so doing, we will test the effectiveness of the comprehensive, multi-level intervention on reducing children's BMI z-scores, our primary endpoint. BMI z scores will be assessed by taking height and weight measures of the children at baseline, 12 months, and 24 months. We will recruit and enroll a total of 900 Hispanic children in grades 3rd to 5th (ages 8-12 years) who attend the four elementary schools in the intervention community and the four elementary schools in the comparison community. Schools in both communities will be matched based on student standardized test scores, percent of students eligible to receive free or reduced-price lunch, and school size. Secondary outcomes include dietary patterns and accelerometer data of physical activity in a subgroup of 180 Hispanic children. Community participation in this project has been extraordinary and our letters of support indicate the communities' enthusiasm for this project.

Public Health Relevance

Obesity among Hispanic children in the Lower Yakima Valley of Washington State is alarmingly high. We propose to implement a comprehensive, multi-level intervention among children, families, the schools, and the community to combat this problem. The two year intervention will be measured by examining changes in children's body mass index.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD)
Research Project--Cooperative Agreements (U01)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZMD1)
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Dagher, Rada Kamil
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Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
United States
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Ko, Linda K; Enzler, Cassandra; Perry, Cynthia K et al. (2018) Food availability and food access in rural agricultural communities: use of mixed methods. BMC Public Health 18:634
Ko, Linda K; Rillamas-Sun, Eileen; Bishop, Sonia et al. (2018) Together We STRIDE: A quasi-experimental trial testing the effectiveness of a multi-level obesity intervention for Hispanic children in rural communities. Contemp Clin Trials 67:81-86
Perry, Cynthia K; Ko, Linda K; Hernandez, Lidia et al. (2017) Ciclovia in a Rural Latino Community: Results and Lessons Learned. J Public Health Manag Pract 23:360-363