Feasibility and outcomes of an out-ofschool and home-based obesity prevention pilot study for rural children on an American Indian reservation

Blakely Brown, Kari Jo Harris, Daniel Heil, Michael Tryon, Aric Cooksley, Erin Semmens, James Davis, Krupa Gandhi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Background: Children living in rural areas are at higher risk for obesity compared to urban children, and Native American (NA) children have the highest prevalence of overweight/obesity for all races combined. Out-of-school programs (OOSPs) are a promising setting to improve children's health. Parents are important in supporting their child's obesity-related behaviors, yet it remains unclear what combination and dose of parent engagement strategies is feasible and optimal. This study's primary objective was to assess the feasibility of an OOSP and home-based obesity prevention intervention for rural NA and non-NA children. Methods: This was an 11-week, two group, randomized feasibility study. Participants were children and their parents at one OOSP on a rural American Indian reservation. Children, ages 6-9, were randomized to receive the Generations Health (GH) intervention or comparison condition. The GH group received daily activities focused on physical activity (PA), nutrition, sleep, and reducing TV/screen time, and frequently engaged parents. The comparison group received usual OOSP activities. To assess intervention feasibility, we measured recruitment and participation rates and program satisfaction. We assessed pre- to posttest changes in body composition, PA and sleep patterns, dietary intake and Healthy Eating Index-2010 (HEI-2010) scores, TV/screen time, and nutrition knowledge. We report recruitment and participation rates as percentages and participants' program satisfaction as means. Two-tailed paired t tests and 95% confidence intervals were used to detect changes in behavioral and health outcome variables. Results: Forty-six children met age eligibility criteria; following screening, 52% (24/46) met the inclusion criteria and 96% (23/24) were randomized to the study. Overall, 91% of the children participated in the intervention and 100% participated in at least some of the posttest assessments. Parents reported high program satisfaction (mean rating of 4, on a 1-5 scale). Our outcome measure for child adiposity, zBMI, was reduced by 0.15 in the GH group, but increased by 0.13 in the comparison condition. Meaningful changes were evident for total kilocalories, HEI-2010 scores, PA, TV/screen time, and nutrition knowledge. Conclusions: High recruitment, participation and program satisfaction and positive health and behavioral outcomes at 11 weeks provide encouraging indications of the feasibility and potential effectiveness of the intervention.

Original languageEnglish
Article number153
JournalPilot and Feasibility Studies
Issue number1
StatePublished - Apr 25 2018


  • Child health behavior
  • Intervention feasibility
  • Native American
  • Obesity prevention
  • Out-of-school settings
  • Parents
  • Rural


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