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Obesity in children -- Prevention, Children -- Health


Background: Latino children in the US experience high rates of obesity, increasing their risk of subsequent diabetes. There are few clinical trials among low-income, Latino families to test interventions that account for and address their unique situation.

Methods/design: This trial, conducted in a Head Start (early childhood education) setting, randomly assigns children 2–5 years of age who have obesity by CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) guidelines (at least 95th percentile body mass index) and their parents to one of three conditions: (1) control, (2) parent mentor with an experimental curriculum, or (3) parent mentor with a standard curriculum (active control). We designed the experimental arm (2) using data from positive deviants: low-income, Latino families who had been successful in moving their child toward a healthy weight. Parent mentors are recruited and trained from the Head Start centers. Parent mentors then facilitate the teaching and coaching of parent–child dyads with weekly interactions over the course of a 6-month period. The primary outcome is change in adjusted body mass index z-score at the end of intervention and at 6 months post-intervention. Secondary outcomes include generalized self-efficacy, dietary intake, the home food environment, and reported physical activity.

Discussion: This clinical trial contributes to the field by evaluating parent mentoring interventions that are potentially scalable for a population at high risk for continued obesity and subsequent morbidity and mortality.


© The Author(s). 2019

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