Program

Apr 04, 2016

OVERVIEW

Salud con la Familia is a community-based, culturally tailored childhood obesity intervention that engages Latino parents and their preschool-aged children in skills building to improve familial habits related to nutrition and physical activity.  The program aims to improve children’s BMI status, especially among obese children.  An experimental evaluation of the program showed a positive impact on absolute BMI following the 3-month intervention.

DESCRIPTION OF PROGRAM

Target Population:   Latino parent-child (ages 2-6) dyads

This community-based, family-centered obesity intervention was adapted from the National Latino Children’s Institute’s Salsa, Sabor y Salud program (http://www.nlci.org/salsa-sabor-y-salud/the-program.html).  Salud con la Familia engages Latino parents and their preschool-aged children in 12 90-minute skills-building sessions over the course of 12 weeks.  Families progress through the program in social groups of 6-8 dyads, which facilitate the dissemination of healthy habits throughout the community.  Sessions are designed to improve family nutritional habits, increase physical activity, and decrease sedentary behavior by focusing on a number of themes (e.g., parenting skills, setting physical activity expectations, managing portion sizes).

EVALUATION OF PROGRAM

Barkin, S. L., Gesell, S., Po’e, E. K., Escarfuller, J., & Tempesti, T. (2012). Culturally tailored, family-centered, behavioral obesity intervention for Latino-American preschool-aged children. Pediatrics, doi:10.1542/peds.2011-3762.

Evaluated Population:  A total of 106 parent-child dyads (54 intervention, 52 control) were evaluated in this study.  All participants were Latino.  Among parents,  84 percent were born in Mexico,11percent in other Central American countries, and 5 percent in the United States.  Ninety-one percent of children were born in the United States.

Approach:  Parents were eligible for inclusion in the evaluation if they were over 18 years of age, defined themselves as Hispanic/Latino, had a child aged 2 to 6 years not currently enrolled in another healthy lifestyle program, had a valid telephone number, and did not plan to move from the city within 6 months.  After baseline data collection, parent-child dyads were randomized to receive the Salud con la Familia intervention, or an “active” control which consisted of a brief school readiness program.  Trained study staff used standardized techniques to calculate absolute BMI for parents and children at baseline and post-intervention (child’s BMI was the main outcome of interest).  Demographic information was collected from parents via surveys delivered in Spanish.

The attrition rate was higher in the intervention group (36%) than the control group (15%), but no significant baseline differences were noted between dyads who provided post-intervention data and those who dropped out. Baseline equivalence between groups was also established using t tests and Fisher’s exact tests.

Results:  At post-intervention, children in the intervention group experienced significantly greater reductions in absolute BMI compared with control-group children, when adjusting for child age, gender, and initial BMI.

SOURCES FOR MORE INFORMATION

References

Barkin, S. L., Gesell, S., Po’e, E. K., Escarfuller, J., & Tempesti, T. (2012). Culturally tailored, family-centered, behavioral obesity intervention for Latino-American preschool-aged children. Pediatrics, doi:10.1542/peds.2011-3762.

Website:  

Contact Information

Shari L. Barkin, MD, MSHS

Diabetes Research and Training Center

Vanderbilt University School of Medicine

2200 Children’s Way, Doctor’s Office Tower 8232

Nashville, TN 37232

KEYWORDS:  Children (3-11), Hispanic/Latino, Community-based, Parent of family component, Skills training, Nutrition, Obesity

Program information last updated on 11/12/12.