245174 BodyWorks: Evaluating both parent and adolescent involvement in a family-based, healthy lifestyle program

Monday, October 31, 2011: 1:30 PM

R. Ann Abercrombie, MLS , Office on Women's Health, HHS, Washington, DC
Jodie Fishman, MPH , on behalf of the Office on Women's Health, Hager Sharp, Inc., Washington, DC
Amanda Marr Book, MS , on behalf of the Office on Women's Health, Hager Sharp, Inc., Washington, DC
Background: BodyWorks, a family-based healthy lifestyle program from the HHS Office on Women's Health, was developed based on research that parents/caregivers shape the nutrition and physical activity patterns of their children, and that parent participation in childhood obesity prevention programs has a positive effect on program success. The weekly, 10-session program, moderated by trained facilitators, provides parents/caregivers with hands-on materials to help their families make small, specific behavior changes to achieve/maintain a healthy weight. Methods: The BodyWorks program was evaluated at three implementation sites to determine effectiveness in increasing nutrition/physical-activity related knowledge, attitudes, self-efficacy, and behaviors. Evaluators also studied parent and child reactions to participating in BodyWorks together. The evaluation was based on pre and post tests of both BodyWorks participants and a no-intervention comparison group, as well as surveys and interviews with BodyWorks trainers. Results: Program participants significantly increased their knowledge, attitudes and behaviors related to healthy lifestyles compared with the non-intervention group. While the BodyWorks program currently includes adolescents in 2 of 10 sessions, children actually attended most or all sessions. Conclusions: Based on participant and trainer recommendations, BodyWorks should consider including teens in all sessions of the BodyWorks program, as well as including more hands-on activities for parents and teens to do together. The teens' presence at BodyWorks sessions facilitated parent/child bonding over healthy behaviors, contributed to program success, and helped reduce some barriers to retention. Other research and the BodyWorks evaluation support the need to include both parents and children in healthy lifestyle interventions.

Learning Areas:
Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs

Learning Objectives:
1. List three reasons why targeting parents in childhood obesity prevention programs improves childrens’ nutrition and physical activity attitudes and behaviors. 2. Identify strategies to engage parents in childhood obestity prevention. Explain why including teens in all BodyWorks sessions could bolster program success.

Keywords: Children and Adolescents, Obesity

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualifies to present because I oversee the BodyWorks program for the Office on Women's Health.
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.