Assessing the Impact of a Parental Modeling Physical Acitivity Intervention on Child Physical Activity and Obesity Levels

ECU Author/Contributor (non-ECU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Kelli Jo Soos (Creator)
East Carolina University (ECU )
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Abstract: Introduction. Childhood obesity is a worldwide epidemic, caused in large part by insufficient physical activity (PA). The majority of children in the United States are not meeting PA guidelines. As PA is inversely associated with weight status, interventions aiming to increase preschoolers’ individual PA levels have proven effective in reducing body mass index (BMI) and preventing the development of childhood obesity. Research suggests PA interventions in preschoolers are more effective when parents are involved. Purpose. The purpose of this study was to examine the impact of a parental modeling PA intervention on children’s PA levels and weight status as measured by BMI. It was hypothesized that the intervention would result in increased PA levels for children and help them to maintain or decrease their BMI. Methods. This study included 23 parent-child dyads, each randomly placed into either a control (n=8) or intervention (n=15) group. In the children, height and weight were measured and BMI and BMI z-scores were calculated pre- and post-intervention. The children also wore an ActiGraph activity monitor for one week pre- and post-intervention. Minutes spent in sedentary behavior, light-, moderate-, and vigorous-intensity PA was determined using ActiLife software. The control group parents were asked to maintain their PA levels for the intervention period (2 months). The intervention group parents were provided educational material, a PA logbook, and weekly motivational phone calls with an intervention coach in aims of increasing their PA alone and with their child. Data analyses were conducted on the children’s data using the intention-to-treat method. Results. A 2 (group) by 2 (visit) ANCOVA found no differences between group (control vs intervention) and visit (pre vs post) for any PA level after adjusting for wear time (p>.05). Furthermore, a 2 by 2 ANOVA found no differences BMI z-score by group and visit (p>.05). Boys had higher sedentary time than girls (p=0.049); no other sex-related PA differences were found (p>0.05). Conclusion. The intervention did not change PA levels or BMI z-scores in preschool aged children, though they were going in the expected direction. Further investigation is necessary to truly assess the impact a parental modeling intervention has on child PA levels and weight status.

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Language: English
Date: 2016
childhood obesity, physical activity

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