This multi-disciplinary, multi-institutional, multi-state, integrated research, education, and extension project will advance and expand the progress of HomeStyles toward reducing risk of childhood overweight and obesity.
HomeStyles, an in-home family intervention, enables and motivates parents to shape home environments and weight-related lifestyle practices to prevent childhood obesity. Segment one of HomeStyles focused families with preschoolers (ages 2-5). A dissemination feasibility study was launched to determine how to effectively diffuse the innovations of the evidence-based HomeStyles-Segment one intervention to parents of children in preschools/daycares. The creation of a novel, culturally-competent HomeStyles-Segment two responsive to the developmentally unique needs of middle childhood (6-11 years) is in development for delivery online and in face-to-face SNAP-Ed sessions. Further, this project continues to build the expertise of the next generation of nutrition and health education professionals in creating effective childhood obesity prevention programs through formal coursework and hands-on practicums.
The dissemination feasibility study for Segment one includes pre/post surveys completed by a key informant at each participating preschool/daycare and brief parent surveys. The new, second segment of HomeStyles tailored to families with children 6 to 11 years will be evaluated via a randomized controlled trial designed to determine whether this novel, age-appropriate, family intervention enables and motivates English- and Spanish-speaking parents to shape their home environments and weight-related lifestyle practices (diet, exercise, sleep) to reduce risk of obesity during middle childhood more than those in the control condition. Students enrolled in coursework and practicums will continue to be evaluated using rubrics and satisfaction surveys.
Conclusions and Implications
This intervention will apply community-based participatory research principles and be aligned with current obesity prevention recommendations and behavior change theories. This project will provide a sustainable model for confronting and combating obesity and safeguarding health that can be brought to scale nationwide.