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
Journal of Behavioral Health. 2012;
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 youthâ€™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 youthâ€™s baseline level of psychosocial functioning.