Location

Savannah

Strand #1

Mental & Physical Health

Strand #2

Family & Community

Relevance

The proposal directly relates to two Strands: IV- Health and V-Family & Community. The project addresses a significant health problem that impacts children and youth from high poverty populations. In addition, the project uses a family approach to address the problem.

Brief Program Description

The objective of this presentation is to discuss the effectiveness of a 6-week summer childhood obesity intervention for low-income minority children ages 10-12. Topics will include strategies and best practices for effective summer programming for youth. The target audience includes practitioners, educators, and researchers interested in childhood obesity interventions involving families and communities.

Summary

Low-income children are at increased risk for obesity (Kumanyika & Grier, 2006) with the rate of obesity among minority children being more than double that of white children (Ogden, 2010). Many interventions fail to understand and take into consideration the unique environmental factors that influence behaviors in low-income minority children (Kumanyika & Grier, 2006). The proposed program, Childhood Health and Obesity Initiative: Communities Empowered for Success (CHOICES) is an obesity prevention intervention implemented in a summer camp setting targeting 10-12 year-old children from low income families. The long-term goal of the project is to reduce the prevalence of childhood obesity for minority children from low income families. The project tested the feasibility and effectiveness of a 6-week summer fitness and wellness program designed to address the social and environmental barriers that are unique to low income families. Approximately 120 low income minority children, ages 10-12 were recruited to participate in the summer fitness and wellness camp called Rams Fitness Academy (RFA). Participants for the Academy were recruited primarily from the local housing authority areas. Additional recruitment occurred at selected public elementary and middle schools that had at least 95% of their children on free or reduced lunch, as well as, selected local churches located near the targeted housing authority areas. Project results will include a mixture of quantitative (BMI, Body Image, etc.) and qualitative (focus groups) data analysis. The presentation will also include suggestions for best practices for childhood obesity interventions focusing on high-risk populations of low-income families.

Evidence

Because traditional interventions for childhood obesity have focused on changing diet and exercise behaviors at the individual level; they have proven to have very little impact on the childhood obesity epidemic. Most research on childhood obesity is conducted at the individual level; however, the involvement of the family and community involvement working together are critical in the fight against childhood obesity. The 2001 Surgeon General’s report on obesity emphasizes the importance of family and communities in the fight against obesity. Likewise, the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (2008) Working Group established to identify priorities for research directions in childhood obesity prevention and intervention cited the need for multi-level and multi-component interventions that evaluate the effectiveness of intervention components separately and in combination. Furthermore, the White House Task Force on Childhood Obesity Report (2010) confirms that coordinated, multi-component programs are necessary to effectively change behavior. Thus, given what we know about the complexity of factors affecting childhood obesity, intervention strategies for low-income and minority children require different strategies from those used in traditional intervention programs.

Format

Individual Presentation

Biographical Sketch

Cynthia Williams Brown, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor of Physical Education at Winston-Salem State University. She is currently the Chair of the Department of Health, Physical Education and Sport Studies. Dr. Brown received her undergraduate degree in physical education from Shaw University in Raleigh, N.C. She then went on to receive her Master’s degree in physical education from North Carolina Central University in Durham, N.C. In 1998, Dr. Brown completed the requirements for her Ph.D. degree in physical education-pedagogy from the University of South Carolina in Columbia, S.C. Dr. Brown’s research interests include obesity prevention and intervention in children and college women; and cardiovascular disease interventions in women. She is also interested in community health outreach programs, especially those related to faith based institutions. Dr. Brown designs and conducts physical activity intervention for children, youth and adults. Her current research focuses on cardiovascular intervention targeting African-American women and childhood obesity prevention. Dr. Brown, a former high school physical education teacher and coach, became a member of the faculty at Winston-Salem State University in 1998. She serves on numerous university committees.

Dr. Claudia A. Warren is Professor of Education and Coordinator of the Birth-Kindergarten Education Program at Winston-Salem State University. She holds the Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction with a specialization in Early Childhood Education from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, Illinois; M.S. in Education and Guidance from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University; and the B.S. degree in Elementary Education from Winston-Salem State University. Dr. Warren has also served as the Assistant Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs at Winston-Salem State University. She taught in the North Carolina High Point City Schools for seven years and she has also directed early childhood education center programs, including two initial Head Start summer programs. Over the years, Dr. Warren has conducted in-service professional development workshops for teachers and others working with young children. Dr. Warren's areas of interest and research include early childhood education, child development, parent education, diversity in programs for young children and staff development.

Ms. Marian Anderson-Booker is a Grant Project Coordinator for the Department of Health, Physical Education and Sport Studies. Ms. Booker holds a Bachelor of Science in Mass Communications from Winston-Salem State University and has worked extensively with the Winston-Salem community. She has also worked as a Program Specialist for the Winston-Salem State University Center for Community Safety. Ms. Booker has considerable experience working with research programs and extensive knowledge of programs that focus on African American women. She serves on several boards and is active in the community.

Keyword Descriptors

Childhood Obesity, Parent Education, Children, Physical Activity, Summer Camp

Presentation Year

2015

Start Date

3-2-2015 1:15 PM

End Date

3-2-2015 2:30 PM

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Mar 2nd, 1:15 PM Mar 2nd, 2:30 PM

CHOICES: A Family-based Childhood Obesity Intervention for Low Income Minority Children

Savannah

The objective of this presentation is to discuss the effectiveness of a 6-week summer childhood obesity intervention for low-income minority children ages 10-12. Topics will include strategies and best practices for effective summer programming for youth. The target audience includes practitioners, educators, and researchers interested in childhood obesity interventions involving families and communities.