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Taking Steps Together: A Family- and Community-Based Obesity Intervention for Urban, Multiethnic Children

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Health Education & Behavior Volume 42, Number 2, ISSN 1090-1981


Objectives: Successful childhood obesity intervention models that build sustainable behavioral change are needed, particularly in low-income, ethnic minority communities disparately affected by this problem. Method: Families were referred to Taking Steps Together (TST) by their primary care provider if at least one child had a body mass index =85%. The TST intervention comprised 16 weekly 2-hour classes including educational activities, group cooking/eating, and physical activities for parents and children. TST's approach emphasized building self-efficacy, targeting both children and parents for healthy change, and fostering intrinsic motivation for healthier living. Pre--post intervention data were collected on health-related behaviors using a survey, and trained staff measured weight and height. Results. Adults (n = 33) and children (n = 62) were largely Hispanic/Latino and low-income. Adults and children significantly increased their fruit and vegetable consumption and weekly physical activity, and adults significantly decreased sugared beverage consumption and screen time. No change in body mass index was observed for adults or children. Conclusions: This family-focused childhood obesity intervention integrated evidence-based principles with a nonprescriptive approach and produced significant improvements in key healthy behaviors for both adults and children.


Anderson, J.D., Newby, R., Kehm, R., Barland, P. & Hearst, M.O. (2015). Taking Steps Together: A Family- and Community-Based Obesity Intervention for Urban, Multiethnic Children. Health Education & Behavior, 42(2), 194-201. Retrieved December 10, 2019 from .

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