Document Type


Publication Date



DOI: 10.1016/j.cct.2023.107140


Rural families are disproportionately affected by obesity. Obesity often runs in families and is impacted by hereditary components, the shared home environment, and parent modeling/child observational learning. Moreover, parent changes in weight predict child changes in weight. Thus, targeting the family unit has the potential to enhance outcomes for adults and children simultaneously. Additionally, engaging rural nurses in medical clinics and schools may be important in determining whether rural telehealth programs are successfully implemented and sustained. This paper describes the rationale and design of a randomized control trial (RCT) evaluating the effectiveness of an integrated adult- and child-focused obesity treatment tailored for rural participants. Outcomes of this study include participant weight loss from baseline to 9-months, device-measured physical activity, and dietary intake. This project will additionally compare reach between clinic and school settings and evaluate the impact of nurse engagement. This study will include 240 participants from eight rural communities who will be randomized to either a Parent +Family-based group or a Newsletter +Family-based group. Parents in the Parent +Family-based group will receive a 3-month adult obesity treatment designed for adult behavior change as a first step. Then, parents and children together will enter the family-based program (iAmHealthy), allowing for potential enhancement of a theorized ripple effect. Parents in the Newsletter +Family-based group will receive 3 monthly newsletters and then participate in the 6-month family-based intervention designed for child behavior change. This study is the first RCT to examine the effectiveness of an integrated adult- and child-focused obesity treatment program. Registered with NCT ID NCT05612971.

Journal Title

Contemp Clin Trials



First Page


Last Page


MeSH Keywords

Humans; Rural Population; Diet; Body Mass Index; Parents; Pediatric Obesity


Clinic; Obesity; Parent; Rural; School; mHealth


This article is available under the Creative Commons CC-BY-NC-ND license and permits non-commercial use of the work as published, without adaptation or alteration provided the work is fully attributed.

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