Journal of Behavioral Health and Psychology. 2012; 1(2):(13-318)


Addressing obesity among Latino youth in a pediatrician’s office: Preliminary findings of an obesity prevention program

Jie Weiss, Michele Mouttapa, Lianne Nacpil, Daniela Rubin, Alberto Gedissman

Abstract
Objectives: To examine whether Latino youth who participated in a clinic-based, culturally and linguistically tailored pediatric weight management program experienced changes in BMI, BMI percentile, and waist circumference from baseline to the end of the program. Design: Prospective cohort study. Setting: A clinic-based wellness center in Orange County, California. Participants: A total of 240 Latino youth who had been clinically diagnosed as overweight or obese participated in an eight-week weight management intervention. Intervention: Patients participated in the 8-week intervention program. This pediatric weight management program combined multiple approaches to intervene childhood obesity. The components included: 1) Medical Consultation, 2) Counseling, 3) Nutrition, and 4) Physical Activity. Outcome Measures: BMI, BMI percentile, and waist circumference (adiposity surrogates) of participants were measured at the baseline and at the 8th week. Psychosocial functioning of youth was reported by their parents. Results: Participants experienced significant decreases in BMI and BMI percentile after the eight-week intervention compared to baseline. Decreases in the outcome variables did not vary by youth’s baseline level of psychosocial functioning. Conclusion: This study provided preliminary evidence that this culturally tailored intervention program may be successful in reducing indicators of obesity. A follow-up study is needed with a control group to further evaluate the effectiveness of this clinic-based program tailored for Latino youth, and whether program effectiveness varies according to youth’s baseline level of psychosocial functioning.
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