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Child Obes. 2013 Dec;9(6):492-500. doi: 10.1089/chi.2013.0053. Epub 2013 Oct 31.

Outcomes from an urban pediatric obesity program targeting minority youth: the Healthy Hawks program.

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1 Department of Pediatrics, Center for Children's Healthy Lifestyles & Nutrition, University of Kansas Medical Center , Kansas City, KS.



The aim of this study was to describe the outcomes of a family-based behavioral group treatment program with a group of urban, minority, low-income families.


Two hundred and ten families enrolled in a 12-week family-based behavioral group treatment program for pediatric obesity. The program was offered in English and in Spanish and targeted the enrollment of low-income highly diverse youth and families. Primary outcome measures included child BMI z-score (zBMI), maternal BMI, 3-day diet record, and accelerometer.


Seventy-one percent of enrolled families completed the 12-week program. Significant 12-week outcomes were achieved for child zBMI (p<0.001) and for maternal BMI (p<0.001), as well as for child kcals (p<0.001), sugar-sweetened beverages (p=0.017), and red foods (p<0.001). Only change in child zBMI remained significant at 1 year (p<0.05). Physical activity outcomes were not significant and not in the expected direction. There were no differences in outcome by race/ethnicity, but by age, younger children had higher zBMI at baseline and were also more likely to decrease zBMI during the intervention.


It is possible to enroll and maintain urban, minority, low-income families in a family-based behavioral group treatment program for pediatric obesity. Outcome data indicate that these families achieve significant outcomes on zBMI, and that children who remain available for assessment maintain this at 1 year, which is an improvement over previous research using other intervention methodologies with this population.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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