Program

Oct 24, 2011

OVERVIEW

The goal of this program is to reduce weight and improve the quality of life for
at-risk-for-overweight and overweight Mexican-American children through
modification of eating and physical activity behaviors. Compared with children
in a self-help program, those in an instructor-led 12-week program were more
likely to lose weight. Impacts were also found for physical quality of life
scores.

DESCRIPTION OF PROGRAM

Target population:Sixth- and Seventh-grade students

This program aims to improve the quality of life for at-risk-for-overweight and
overweight Mexican-American children by modifying eating and physical activity
behaviors. The logic of the model is that improvements in quality of life will
make weight loss efforts more acceptable and encourage maintenance of behavior
changes to sustain weight loss. The intensive instructor-led-intervention (ILI)
includes 1 nutrition class and 4 physical activity classes weekly for 12 weeks.
Behavioral strategies (including self-monitoring, goal setting, and controlling
environmental cues) are used to increase healthy behaviors. Also included in the
intervention are monthly evening parent training sessions and monthly booster
sessions.

EVALUATION(S) OF PROGRAM

Fullerton, G., Tyler, C., Johnston, C. A., Vincent, J. P., Harris, G. E., &
Foreyt, J. P. (2007) Quality of life in Mexican-American children following a
weight management program. Obesity, 15, 2553-2556.

Evaluated population:
Participants included 80 sixth- and seventh-grade (mean age, 12.1 years)
Mexican-American children who were at-risk-for-overweight (85th to 95th
percentile on CDC growth charts) and overweight (over 95th
percentile).

Approach:
Participants were randomized to one of two treatment conditions aimed at
modifying eating and physical activity behaviors – either the
instructor-led-intervention or the self-help condition.Outcomes measured include changes in weight (body mass index), total
quality of life scales, physical quality of life, psychosocial quality of life,
and subscales including emotional, social, and school functioning.

Results:
There were significant impacts at the six-month follow-up physical quality of
life, with an effect size of .24 for children in the instructor-led intervention
(ILI) condition. Children in the ILI condition also achieved significantly
great weight loss (as measured by BMI). Impacts were not found for total
quality of life or psychosocial quality of life.

SOURCES FOR MORE INFORMATION

References:

Fullerton, G., Tyler, C., Johnston, C. A., Vincent, J. P., Harris, G. E., &
Foreyt, J. P. (2007) Quality of life in Mexican-American children following a
weight management program. Obesity, 15, 2553-2556.

KEYWORDS:Adolescents
(12-17), Middle School, Hispanic/Latino, Urban, Skills Training, Obesity, Other
Physical Health, Other Social/Emotional Health, Other Education

Program
information last updated on 10/24/11.

Subscribe to Child Trends

Short weekly updates of recent research on children and youth.