195877 Mommy and Me from Birth to Three - Infant Obesity Prevention Program

Tuesday, November 10, 2009: 4:30 PM

Stephanie Navarro, BA , Central New Jersey Maternal and Child Health Consortium, North Brunswick, NJ
Velva Dawson, MPA , Central New Jersey Maternal and Child Health Consortium, North Brunswick, NJ

Pediatric obesity places young people at risk for life-long health problems including high cholesterol, high blood pressure, early heart disease, asthma, and depression. According to the CDC, New Jersey has the highest percentage of overweight and obese children under age five, at nearly 18%. While evidence for effective programs to address childhood obesity has yet to emerge, most experts agree that since childhood patterns of nutrition and physical activity may play a key role in obesity prevention, early intervention is important. The Mommy and Me from Birth to Three Program provides mothers with culturally-relevant knowledge and skills to incorporate healthy habits as early as possible in their child's development--within the first three years of life.


The 3 year program targets Latina and Black women in Plainfield, NJ who are pregnant or have children under the age of 3 months. Program staff provides a safe and supportive learning environment that includes both one-on-one education and peer support group meetings.


97% increased their knowledge of infant and child nutritional and physical activity needs by an average of 10% (the equivalent of one letter-grade). 85% successfully met their Personal Health Goals related to parental knowledge of age-appropriate nutrition and physical activity.


Using a culturally-sensitive approach, the program works to build new foundations for learning and understanding the importance of a healthy lifestyle for preventing obesity. The session will focus on lessons learned and strategies to implement an effective obestity prevention program.

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe how to implement a community-based infant overweight prevention project. 2. Identify barriers or challenges related to implementing a community health education program. 3. Identify successful strategies used by the Mommy and Me program. 4. Demonstrate the value of a public-private partnership and community based collaboration in implementing an obesity prevention project.

Keywords: Health Education Strategies, Community-Based Health Promotion

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Velva Dawson is the Director of Operations for the Central New Jersey Maternal and Child Health Consortium, Inc, where she is responsible for the day to day operational needs of the organization. The Consortium is a central service facility licensed by the Department of Health and Senior Services that is comprised of all agencies involved in the delivery of perinatal and pediatric services within a five county region of central New Jersey. Ms. Dawson assists with the organizational strategic and regional planning, consumer education, and coordination of community outreach services. Ms. Dawson received her Master’s degree in Public Administration from Seton Hall University and has extensive experience in the field of maternal and child health. Ms. Dawson provides direct supervision to all community based education and programming within the Central New Jersey region which includes the: Central New Jersey Pediatric Asthma Home Management Program; Black Infant Mortality Reduction Initiative; School Based Oral Health Education Prevention Project and Healthy Mothers/Healthy Babies Infant Mortality Reduction Program. Ms. Dawson also serves on numerous task forces and committees in New Jersey, including the Commissioners’ Prenatal Access to Care Task Force, Rutgers Community Health Foundation, New Brunswick Tomorrow’s Health Task Force, and the SBC of NJ Community Development Corporation.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.