Web-based Family Intervention for Pediatric Obesity

Project: Research project

Project Details


DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): Recent studies indicate that the prevalence of overweight and obesity in children is very high (about 25-30 percent), and the incidence is increasing, especially among minority African- American and Hispanic children. Obesity in childhood is associated with a high risk of continued obesity into adolescence and adulthood. This is of great public health significance because obesity increases risk for the development of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Empirically validated interventions are available for the treatment of pediatric obesity. However, one of the major difficulties with treatment of pediatric obesity is access to effective treatment programs; the majority of overweight children do not receive formal family-based behavioral weight control intervention. Therefore, a key issue in dealing with the epidemic of pediatric obesity is how to provide effective treatment to the population of overweight children. We believe that pediatricians' increased attention to this significant public health problem affords an opportunity for providing greater access to effective intervention. We propose to develop an innovative web program to support pediatric weight loss, based on those principles shown to be effective in clinical studies of obese children. We envision a system in which pediatricians identify overweight children as part of routine primary care, and then refer families to a web site designed to increase their awareness of the problem of obesity and its associated health risks, as well as increase their motivation to engage in lifestyle change to reduce overweight through the development of healthful dietary and physical activity habits. The web site will be accessed by children and parents over time and the system will generate reports on usage, as well as health behaviors and weight changes to be sent electronically to the referring pediatricians. During Phase I, we will develop an interactive prototype on a web site aimed at parents and their overweight children. The prototype will be developed using several of the concepts and skills from existing effective family-based behavioral interventions, as well as input from focus groups of overweight children, their parents, and pediatricians. We will evaluate the overall usability of the prototype by assessing health behaviors of overweight children and their parents, as well as their and the referring pediatricians' attitudes, knowledge, intent to use, perceived barriers, and consumer satisfaction both pre and post use of the interactive program presented via the internet web site.
Effective start/end date7/1/052/28/15


  • National Institutes of Health: $619,886.00
  • National Institutes of Health: $614,797.00
  • National Institutes of Health: $198,562.00


  • Medicine(all)


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