Download Full Text (715 KB)

Publication Date



Background: Parents and children influence each other’s behaviors. Obesity prevention is challenging especially among families with few resources.

Methods: This is a randomized controlled trial of a family obesity intervention combining motivation interviewing and connection of families to organizations to obtain needed resources (resource mobilization). Participants are low-income families where one parent has a BMI ≥ 30 and a child aged 6-12 years. The trial compares health coaching using motivational interviewing and enhanced resource mobilization vs written education and basic resource mobilization. Primary outcomes include: Adult BMI; Adult and Child moderate-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) and sedentary time (accelerometers); Family Nutrition and Physical Activity (FNPA) Scale. Secondary outcomes include: composite measure; child BMI Z-score; sugar-sweetened beverages. The intention to treat analysis used linear mixed models and multiple imputation.

Results: 208 families randomized. Racially and ethnically diverse. Adults: 95% female, household income $28,469, BMI 39.5. Children: age 8.6 years, BMI-Z 1.1. Over 12 months: No statistically significant difference between treatment groups. In both groups: Improved FNPA (Increase by 2.8 (1.0) control and 2.2 (0.9) intervention). Increase in sedentary time and decrease in MVPA in children consistent with increasing age. Decrease in sugar-sweetened beverage intake in adults and children (Adults decrease 1.3 servings control and 0.6 serving intervention; Children decrease in 0.7 servings control and 0.5 servings intervention). Improved adult and child composite score. Significant association between receipt of basic resources and improved adult MVPA (increase 20 min/day, p=0.008), and clinically relevant association with adult BMI (-1.2 kg/m2, p= 0.056) and fruit and vegetable servings (+0.36 servings, p=0.053).

Conclusion: Health behavior outcomes among low-income families improved with the receipt of basic resources but do not improve further with the addition of health coaching simultaneously.

Document Type


A Family Obesity Intervention Combining Motivation Interviewing And Resource Mobilization