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A Family-Based Intervention Strategy for Addressing Childhood Obesity in an At-Risk Population: 1354Board #117 May 30 9:30 AM - 11:00 AM

Sands, Charles D. IV; Jung, Alan P.; Gonzalez, English

Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise: May 2007 - Volume 39 - Issue 5 - p S191
doi: 10.1249/01.mss.0000273713.27907.00
A-28 Free Communication/Poster - Health Interventions: Youth and Adolescents: MAY 30, 2007 7:30 AM - 12:30 PM ROOM: Hall E

1Samford University, Birmingham, AL.

2Family Practice Center, Medical Center East, Birmingham, AL.


PURPOSE: The purpose of this project was to target the family unit to address the childhood overweight/obesity problem in an at-risk population of the Birmingham Metro area focusing on children ages 8–13 years old.

METHODS: Participants were children, ages 8–13 years, who were identified by a family physician as overweight/obese or at risk for overweight/obesity. Weekly intervention meetings that incorporated five strategies of physical activity, nutrition education, behavior modification, family counseling, and medical intervention were conducted. Each week, children and their parents were given daily assignments that were tied to individualized goals that were determined at the outset of the program. These assignments included didactic and experiential learning opportunities as well as a daily physical activity program. Physiological, nutritional, physical activity and behavior change assessments were performed at the beginning and end of the 6-week intervention program.

RESULTS: Weight (p=0.12), BMI-for-Age (p=0.37), and diastolic blood pressure (p<0.01) all decreased; Aerobic capacity (p=0.33), upper body strength (p=0.07), lower body strength (p=0.28) and physical activity (p=0.04) all increased.

CONCLUSIONS: Though some of the measures did not show a significant difference there was a trend towards positive change in each of the variables assessed. Perhaps the most promising finding of this study was the significant increase in physical activity, which portends future positive health outcomes. Therefore, a 6-week family-based intervention to combat childhood obesity can be successful in modifying behaviors and influencing physiological change in this sample of adolescents.

© 2007 American College of Sports Medicine