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BMC Public Health

, 12:1040

Health behavior, health promotion and society


BackgroundNearly one in five 4-year-old children in the United States are obese, with low-income children almost twice as likely to be obese as their middle-upper-income peers. Few obesity prevention programs for low-income preschoolers and their parents have been rigorously tested, and effects are modest. We are testing a novel obesity prevention program for low-income preschoolers built on the premise that children who are better able to self-regulate in the face of psychosocial stressors may be less likely to eat impulsively in response to stress. Enhancing behavioral self-regulation skills in low-income children may be a unique and important intervention approach to prevent childhood obesity.

Methods-designThe Growing Healthy study is a randomized controlled trial evaluating two obesity prevention interventions in 600 low-income preschoolers attending Head Start, a federally-funded preschool program for low-income children. Interventions are delivered by community-based, nutrition-education staff partnering with Head Start. The first intervention n = 200, Preschool Obesity Prevention Series POPS, addresses evidence-based obesity prevention behaviors for preschool-aged children and their parents. The second intervention n = 200 comprises POPS in combination with the Incredible Years Series IYS, an evidence-based approach to improving self-regulation among preschool-aged children. The comparison condition n = 200 is Usual Head Start Exposure. We hypothesize that POPS will yield positive effects compared to Usual Head Start, and that the combined intervention POPS + IYS addressing behaviors well-known to be associated with obesity risk, as well as self-regulatory capacity, will be most effective in preventing excessive increases in child adiposity indices body mass index, skinfold thickness. We will evaluate additional child outcomes using parent and teacher reports and direct assessments of food-related self-regulation. We will also gather process data on intervention implementation, including fidelity, attendance, engagement, and satisfaction.

DiscussionThe Growing Healthy study will shed light on associations between self-regulation skills and obesity risk in low-income preschoolers. If the project is effective in preventing obesity, results can also provide critical insights into how best to deliver obesity prevention programming to parents and children in a community-based setting like Head Start in order to promote better health among at-risk children.

Trial registration numberClinicaltrials.gov Identifier: NCT01398358

KeywordsObesity prevention Low-income children Preschoolers Head start Incredible years series Self-regulation Intervention study AbbreviationsPOPSPreventing Obesity in Preschoolers Series

IYSIncredible Years Series

USDAUnited States Department of Agriculture

NIFA-AFRINational Institute of Food and Agriculture-Agriculture and Food Research Initiative

HSHead Start

AAPAmerican Academy of Pediatrics

ADAAmerican Dietetic Association

FVFruit and vegetable

SSBSugar-sweetened beverage

BMIBody mass index

CDCCenters for Disease Control

RCTRandomized controlled trial

UMUniversity of Michigan

MSUMichigan State University

MHSMental health specialist

24HR24-Hour dietary recall

ATDGAbility to Delay Gratification.

Electronic supplementary materialThe online version of this article doi:10.1186-1471-2458-12-1040 contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

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Author: Alison L Miller - Mildred A Horodynski - Holly E Brophy Herb - Karen E Peterson - Dawn Contreras - Niko Kaciroti - Juli

Source: https://link.springer.com/

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