TitleThe Healthy Children, Strong Families intervention promotes improvements in nutrition, activity and body weight in American Indian families with young children.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2016
AuthorsTomayko, EJ, Prince, RJ, Cronin, KA, Adams, AK
JournalPublic Health Nutr
Date Published2016 Oct

OBJECTIVE: American Indian children of pre-school age have disproportionally high obesity rates and consequent risk for related diseases. Healthy Children, Strong Families was a family-based randomized trial assessing the efficacy of an obesity prevention toolkit delivered by a mentor v. mailed delivery that was designed and administered using community-based participatory research approaches.

DESIGN: During Year 1, twelve healthy behaviour toolkit lessons were delivered by either a community-based home mentor or monthly mailings. Primary outcomes were child BMI percentile, child BMI Z-score and adult BMI. Secondary outcomes included fruit/vegetable consumption, sugar consumption, television watching, physical activity, adult health-related self-efficacy and perceived health status. During a maintenance year, home-mentored families had access to monthly support groups and all families received monthly newsletters.

SETTING: Family homes in four tribal communities, Wisconsin, USA.

SUBJECTS: Adult and child (2-5-year-olds) dyads (n 150).

RESULTS: No significant effect of the mentored v. mailed intervention delivery was found; however, significant improvements were noted in both groups exposed to the toolkit. Obese child participants showed a reduction in BMI percentile at Year 1 that continued through Year 2 (P<0·05); no change in adult BMI was observed. Child fruit/vegetable consumption increased (P=0·006) and mean television watching decreased for children (P=0·05) and adults (P=0·002). Reported adult self-efficacy for health-related behaviour changes (P=0·006) and quality of life increased (P=0·02).

CONCLUSIONS: Although no effect of delivery method was demonstrated, toolkit exposure positively affected adult and child health. The intervention was well received by community partners; a more comprehensive intervention is currently underway based on these findings.

Alternate JournalPublic Health Nutr
PubMed ID27211525
PubMed Central IDPMC5039403
Grant ListP60 MD003428 / MD / NIMHD NIH HHS / United States
T32 DK007665 / DK / NIDDK NIH HHS / United States
U01 HL087381 / HL / NHLBI NIH HHS / United States