Study of Parenting Intervention to Prevent Child Obesity

2014-08-27 03:18:33 | BioPortfolio


This purpose of this project is to determine whether this 8-month parenting for healthy weight intervention is able to help parents improve their parenting skills and make positive changes in the nutrition and physical activity environment at home.


The early years between ages 3-7 are critical in the development of obesity. The importance of the family in the development of children's eating and activity behaviors has been emphasized by experts, yet to date no obesity prevention interventions incorporating a strong family focus with emphasis on improved parenting practices have been developed. The work proposed here will address this gap by testing the efficacy of an 8-mo parenting intervention designed to change both social and physical aspects of the home environment, which in turn will reduced % body fat in children. Subjects will be 280 families (one parent and one child from each) with at least one preschool-age child (2-5 years old). Following baseline measures, pairs will be randomized into intervention or control. The intervention will teach more effective parenting skills (child management, communication, routines, etc.), then apply these skills to specific practices that encourage healthier behaviors. The intervention will include group sessions and tailored phone calls facilitated by a registered dietitian who has also received training in parent education. Group sessions will use multiple teaching strategies and include separate child activities. Tailored calls will use motivational interviewing techniques to help parents overcome barriers to behavior change. The intervention is guided by Darling and Steinberg's Integrative Model of parenting, which highlights the importance of parenting values, style and practices in child socialization, and Deci and Ryan's Self-Determination Theory, which suggests ways to foster autonomous motivation to adopt new behaviors. The resulting intervention will help parents learn skills to reduce their parenting-related stress and create home environments that support healthy-weight behaviors. The primary outcome, % body fat in children, will be assessed using anthropometry and a validated prediction equation (Dezenberg, 1999). Analyses will include baseline measurements of the outcome as a covariate. Secondary measures include child and parent diet and physical activity, parenting style and practices, and home environment. Maintenance effect will be assessed following a 6-mo no-intervention period. A comprehensive analysis is included to test for mediation effects. This intensive intervention will create the exposure necessary to make life-altering changes in weight-related behaviors. Plans build on extensive formative work conducted by our experienced researchers.

Study Design

Allocation: Randomized, Endpoint Classification: Efficacy Study, Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment, Masking: Single Blind (Outcomes Assessor), Primary Purpose: Prevention




Parenting Program


Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Chapel Hill
North Carolina
United States




University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

Results (where available)

View Results


Published on BioPortfolio: 2014-08-27T03:18:33-0400

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Medical and Biotech [MESH] Definitions

Performing the role of a parent by care-giving, nurturance, and protection of the child by a natural or substitute parent. The parent supports the child by exercising authority and through consistent, empathic, appropriate behavior in response to the child's needs. PARENTING differs from CHILD REARING in that in child rearing the emphasis is on the act of training or bringing up the children and the interaction between the parent and child, while parenting emphasizes the responsibility and qualities of exemplary behavior of the parent.

The training or bringing-up of children by parents or parent-substitutes. It is used also for child rearing practices in different societies, at different economic levels, in different ethnic groups, etc. It differs from PARENTING in that in child rearing the emphasis is on the act of training or bringing up the child and the interaction between the parent and child, while parenting emphasizes the responsibility and qualities of exemplary behavior of the parent.

A condition of having excess fat in the abdomen. Abdominal obesity is typically defined as waist circumferences of 40 inches or more in men and 35 inches or more in women. Abdominal obesity raises the risk of developing disorders, such as diabetes, hypertension and METABOLIC SYNDROME X.

The process of formulating, improving, and expanding educational, managerial, or service-oriented work plans (excluding computer program development).

The condition of weighing two, three, or more times the ideal weight, so called because it is associated with many serious and life-threatening disorders. In the BODY MASS INDEX, morbid obesity is defined as having a BMI greater than 40.0 kg/m2.

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