Nutrition and Lifestyle Intervention on Child Obesity

A special issue of Nutrients (ISSN 2072-6643). This special issue belongs to the section "Nutrition and Obesity".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 25 April 2024 | Viewed by 6151

Special Issue Editor


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Guest Editor
School of Public Health, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX, USA
Interests: nutrition; food security; nutritional, physical, and emotional health across the life span

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Children, especially minorities from limited-resource households and rural communities, have the highest rates obesity, and have maintained the highest rates of overweight and obesity for many years. Childhood obesity is considered a complex system in which behavior is affected by multiple individual-, family-, community- and environmental-level factors that enable or constrain the sustained balance or imbalance between dietary intake and physical activity. Thus, the constellation of health behaviors and settings that place children at increased risk for obesity must be simultaneously addressed through novel approaches. Understanding the effectiveness of interventions is essential for childhood obesity prevention.

This Special Issue will focus on the “Nutrition and Lifestyle Intervention on Child Obesity” as it pertains to the implementation and evaluation of family and community-based interventions for preventing obesity and promoting healthy behaviors. In addition to one or two systematic literature reviews, we are interested in original research that focuses on theory-based novel interventions that utilize quasi-experimental or experimental design.

Prof. Dr. Joseph Sharkey
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Nutrients is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2900 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • childhood obesity prevention
  • family intervention
  • community intervention
  • obesity management
  • policies, systems, and environment
  • community-engaged research
  • faith-based intervention
  • fruit and vegetable intake
  • intervention evaluation

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

15 pages, 920 KiB  
Article
An Evaluation of ¡Haz Espacio Para Papi!, a Culturally Tailored Nutrition and Physical Activity Pilot Program for Mexican-Heritage Fathers
by Annika Vahk, Pablo Monsivais, Cassandra M. Johnson and Joseph R. Sharkey
Nutrients 2024, 16(8), 1153; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu16081153 - 13 Apr 2024
Viewed by 387
Abstract
Fathers are potential leaders of healthy behavior changes in their families. Culturally tailored programs are needed to support behavior changes within families, including Latino families; however, there have been few father-focused nutrition programs for Latino families. This study evaluated the immediate effects of [...] Read more.
Fathers are potential leaders of healthy behavior changes in their families. Culturally tailored programs are needed to support behavior changes within families, including Latino families; however, there have been few father-focused nutrition programs for Latino families. This study evaluated the immediate effects of ¡Haz Espacio Para Papi! (Make Room for Daddy!; HEPP), a six-week, father-focused, family-centered program focused on nutrition and physical activity near the Texas–Mexico border. A modified stepped-wedge study design included a treatment group for the HEPP pilot and a wait-listed control group. Pre/post-tests included instant skin carotenoid scores, the self-reported dietary intake of fruits and vegetables (FV), and healthy dietary behavior scores (HDBSs). A 2 × 2 mixed analysis of variance evaluated changes in outcomes across time and between groups for 42 fathers with pre/post-test measures. There were no statistically significant changes in fathers’ VM scores and FV intake across time or between groups. Fathers’ HDBSs increased across time (p ≤ 0.01, 95% CI [0.23, 1.38]). Age, educational attainment, and the number of children living in the household did not have a significant effect on the program outcomes (p > 0.05). The HEPP program may guide the design of future father-focused nutrition interventions aimed at dietary behavior changes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrition and Lifestyle Intervention on Child Obesity)
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26 pages, 2548 KiB  
Article
Cooking with the Seasons for Health (CwS4H): An Innovative Intervention That Links Nutrition Education, Cooking Skills, and Locally Grown Produce to Increase Vegetable Intake among Limited-Resource Parent–Child Dyads in Rural Washington
by Joseph R. Sharkey and Andra Smith
Nutrients 2023, 15(22), 4851; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu15224851 - 20 Nov 2023
Viewed by 1119
Abstract
Although children from limited-resource families in rural areas are at great risk for nutrition-related chronic diseases, few hands-on programs have been implemented that simultaneously engage both parents and children and include local produce in a single program. This study reports on the development, [...] Read more.
Although children from limited-resource families in rural areas are at great risk for nutrition-related chronic diseases, few hands-on programs have been implemented that simultaneously engage both parents and children and include local produce in a single program. This study reports on the development, implementation, and evaluation of Cooking with the Seasons for Health (CwS4H). Parent–child pairs participated in six sessions (two weekly sessions during each of three growing seasons), which included food tasting, a spotlight vegetable, interactive mini nutrition lesson, a child-focused cooking lesson, hands-on meal preparation, distribution of materials as family guides, and a take-home bag of fresh produce. Pre- and postprogram survey data were collected from 23 parents and 22 children. Children reported improvements in nutrition knowledge, vegetable preference, and self-efficacy in food preparation and cooking. Parents reported gains in nutrition knowledge, nutritional behaviors, vegetable preference, attitude toward food preparation/cooking, involvement of the child in food preparation/cooking, confidence in preparing vegetables, and the child’s vegetable intake. Parents commented on the value children placed on food preparation and produce selection and how the program enhanced the parent–child relationship. By focusing CwS4H on a variety of fresh vegetables, this intervention helped to impact children’s vegetable intake behaviors by engaging children in preparing and choosing the food they eat. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrition and Lifestyle Intervention on Child Obesity)
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20 pages, 511 KiB  
Article
The Effects of a Multisector, Multilevel Intervention on Child Dietary Intake: California Childhood Obesity Research Demonstration Study
by Shih-Fan Lin, Michelle Murphy Zive, Emily Schmied, Jonathan Helm and Guadalupe X. Ayala
Nutrients 2023, 15(20), 4449; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu15204449 - 20 Oct 2023
Viewed by 844
Abstract
Consuming too few fruits and vegetables and excess fat can increase the risk of childhood obesity. Interventions which target mediators such as caregivers’ dietary intake, parenting strategies, and the family meal context can improve children’s diets. A quasi-experimental, pre–post intervention with four conditions [...] Read more.
Consuming too few fruits and vegetables and excess fat can increase the risk of childhood obesity. Interventions which target mediators such as caregivers’ dietary intake, parenting strategies, and the family meal context can improve children’s diets. A quasi-experimental, pre–post intervention with four conditions (healthcare (HC-only), public health (PH-only), HC + PH, and control) was implemented to assess the effects of the interventions and the effects of the mediators. HC (implemented with the Obesity Care Model) and PH interventions entailed capacity building; policy, system, and environment changes; and a small-scale media campaign to promote healthy eating. Linear mixed models were used to assess intervention effects and the mediation analysis was performed. Predominantly Hispanic/Latino children and caregivers from rural communities in Imperial County, California, were measured at baseline (N = 1186 children/848 caregivers) and 12 months post-baseline (N = 985/706, respectively). Children who were overweight/obese in the HC-only condition (M = 1.32) consumed more cups of fruits at the 12-month follow-up than those in the control condition (M = 1.09; p = 0.04). No significant mediation was observed. Children in the PH-only condition consumed a significantly higher percentage of energy from fat (M = 36.01) at the follow-up than those in the control condition (M = 34.94, p < 0.01). An obesity intervention delivered through healthcare settings slightly improved fruit intake among at-risk children, but the mechanisms of effect remain unclear. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrition and Lifestyle Intervention on Child Obesity)
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15 pages, 1279 KiB  
Article
A Mixed-Method Evaluation of a Rural Elementary School Implementing the Coordinated Approach to Child Health (CATCH) Program
by Carmen D. Samuel-Hodge, Ziya Gizlice, Alexis R. Guy, Kathryn Bernstein, Aurore Y. Victor, Tyler George, Trevor S. Hamlett and Lisa M. Harrison
Nutrients 2023, 15(12), 2729; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu15122729 - 13 Jun 2023
Viewed by 1093
Abstract
Despite children living in rural US areas having 26% greater odds of being affected by obesity compared to those living in urban areas, the implementation of evidence-based programs in rural schools is rare. We collected quantitative data (weight and height) from 272 racially [...] Read more.
Despite children living in rural US areas having 26% greater odds of being affected by obesity compared to those living in urban areas, the implementation of evidence-based programs in rural schools is rare. We collected quantitative data (weight and height) from 272 racially and ethnically diverse students at baseline, and qualitative data from students (4 focus groups), parents, and school staff (16 semi-structured interviews and 29 surveys) to evaluate program outcomes and perceptions. At the 2-year follow-up, paired data from 157 students, represented by racial/ethnic groups of 59% non-Hispanic White, 31% non-Hispanic Black, and 10% Hispanic, showed an overall mean change (SD) in BMI z-score of −0.04 (0.59), a decrease of −0.08 (0.69) in boys, and a significant −0.18 (0.33) decrease among Hispanic students. Boys had a mean decrease in obesity prevalence of 3 percentage points (from 17% to 14%), and Hispanic students had the largest mean decrease in BMI percentile. Qualitative data showed positive perceptions of the CATCH program and its implementation. This community-engaged research, with collaboration from an academic institution, a health department, a local wellness coalition, and a rural elementary school, demonstrated successful CATCH program implementation and showed promising outcomes in mean BMI changes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrition and Lifestyle Intervention on Child Obesity)
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18 pages, 838 KiB  
Article
Nutrition Effects of a Family-Centered Health Promotion Program for Mexican-Heritage Children in the Lower Rio Grande Valley of Texas
by Chelsey Laviolette, Cassandra M. Johnson, J. Lauren Butler, Lesli Biediger-Friedman and Joseph R. Sharkey
Nutrients 2023, 15(7), 1600; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu15071600 - 25 Mar 2023
Viewed by 2087
Abstract
Systemic and social factors, like poverty and food insecurity, negatively influence fruit and vegetable (FV) intake and body mass index (BMI) among Latino/a children. Behavioral programs are needed to support children’s nutrition. This study examined program effects on FV intake and BMI outcomes [...] Read more.
Systemic and social factors, like poverty and food insecurity, negatively influence fruit and vegetable (FV) intake and body mass index (BMI) among Latino/a children. Behavioral programs are needed to support children’s nutrition. This study examined program effects on FV intake and BMI outcomes for Mexican-heritage children (9–11 years). The program used a modified stepped-wedge design in the Lower Rio Grande Valley of Texas (2019 and 2020). Promotoras led experiential nutrition education sessions and collected height, weight, and instant skin carotenoid scores (biomarker for FV intake) at pre-test (baseline), post-test (6 weeks), and maintenance (3–4 months after post-test). Mean changes and group differences in skin carotenoid scores, BMI z-scores and percentiles were obtained from analyses of variance. Linear mixed-effects models were used to determine overall program effects. Mexican-heritage children were enrolled (n = 57 and 52.6% female). An overall decrease in skin carotenoid scores was observed at post-test (−15.1; 95% CI: −24.95, −5.33). While scores varied widely (range: 17–498), an increase of 14.8 ± 23.8 points occurred in one intervention group. Compared to the control period, greater reductions in BMI outcomes occurred during the program. These findings provide evidence for the use of strengths-based approaches in behavioral nutrition programs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrition and Lifestyle Intervention on Child Obesity)
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