Healthy families study: Design of a childhood obesity prevention trial for Hispanic families

Roger Zoorob, Maciej S. Buchowski, Bettina M. Beech, Juan R. Canedo, Rameela Chandrasekhar, Sylvie Akohoue, Pamela C. Hull

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Background: The childhood obesity epidemic disproportionately affects Hispanics. This paper reports on the design of the ongoing Healthy Families Study, a randomized controlled trial testing the efficacy of a community-based, behavioral family intervention to prevent excessive weight gain in Hispanic children using a community-based participatory research approach. Methods: The study will enroll 272 Hispanic families with children ages 5-7 residing in greater Nashville, Tennessee, United States. Families are randomized to the active weight gain prevention intervention or an alternative intervention focused on oral health. Lay community health promoters implement the interventions primarily in Spanish in a community center. The active intervention was adapted from the We Can! parent program to be culturally-targeted for Hispanic families and for younger children. This 12-month intervention promotes healthy eating behaviors, increased physical activity, and decreased sedentary behavior, with an emphasis on parental modeling and experiential learning for children. Families attend eight bi-monthly group sessions during four months then receive information and/or support by phone or mail each month for eight months. The primary outcome is change in children's body mass index. Secondary outcomes are changes in children's waist circumference, dietary behaviors, preferences for fruits and vegetables, physical activity, and screen time. Results: Enrollment and data collection are in progress. Conclusion: This study will contribute valuable evidence on efficacy of a childhood obesity prevention intervention targeting Hispanic families with implications for reducing disparities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)108-121
Number of pages14
JournalContemporary Clinical Trials
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jul 2013

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by the National Institutes of Health , grant number P20MD000516 , 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 , and grant numbers R01DK69465 and P60DK20593 and National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases . The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the NIH. 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.


  • Children
  • Cluster-randomized controlled trial
  • Hispanics
  • Obesity prevention
  • Overweight
  • We Can

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology (medical)


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