Childhood obesity prevention cluster randomized trial for Hispanic families: outcomes of the healthy families study

P. C. Hull, M. Buchowski, J. R. Canedo, B. M. Beech, L. Du, T. Koyama, R. Zoorob

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Background: Obesity prevalence is disproportionately high among Hispanic children. Objectives: The Healthy Families Study assessed the efficacy of a culturally targeted, family-based weight gain prevention intervention for Hispanic immigrant families with children ages 5–7 years. Methods: The study used a two-group, cluster randomized trial design, assigning 136 families (clusters) to the active intervention (weight gain prevention) and 136 families to attention control (oral health). The active intervention included a 4-month intensive phase (eight classes) and an 8-month reinforcement phase (monthly mail/telephone contact). Children's body mass index z-score (BMI-Z) was the primary outcome. Results: The BMI-Z growth rate of the active intervention group did not differ from the attention control group at short-term follow-up (median 6 months; 168 families, 206 children) or long-term follow-up (median 16 months; 142 families, 169 children). Dose response analyses indicated a slower increase in BMI-Z at short term among overweight/obese children who attended more intervention classes. Moderate physical activity on weekends increased at short term. Weekend screen time decreased at short term among those attending at least one class session. Conclusion: Low class attendance likely impacted intention-to-treat results. Future interventions targeting this population should test innovative strategies to maximize intervention engagement to produce and sustain effects on weight gain prevention.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)686-696
Number of pages11
JournalPediatric obesity
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We would like to thank the Nashville Latino Health Coalition and Progreso Community Center for their collaboration as partners in developing and implementing this study. We are also grateful to Jaden Harris and Caree McAfee for editing and bibliographic assistance. All authors were involved in writing the paper and approved the final paper as submitted. R. Z. and P. H. led the study, developed the research questions and drafted the paper. P. H. and J. C. led intervention development, data collection and intervention implementation. M. B., J. C. and B. B. contributed to the development of the research question and the analytic plan and made contributions to writing and revising the paper. L. D. and T. K. carried out the data analysis, interpreted results and contributed to revisions. This research was supported by the National Institutes of Health, grant number P20 MD000516 National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities, grant number UL1 RR024975 National Center for Research Resources, grant number UL1 TR000445 National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, grant numbers R01 DK69465 and P60 DK20593 National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases and grant numbers P30 CA068485 and U54 CA163072 National Cancer Institute. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the NIH.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 World Obesity Federation


  • Children
  • Hispanics
  • cluster randomized controlled trial
  • obesity prevention

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Health Policy
  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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