Translating Evidence-based, Family-based Pediatric Obesity Treatment Program for Adoption by Rural Communities

Research & Engagement, 2015


Summary

National data have clearly documented a fourfold increase in childhood obesity during the past four decades. Pediatric obesity is associated with a plethora of health risks, yet obesity treatment programs are scarce in Nebraska and generally unavailable in rural America. With US medical health care services changing to population-based health and evidence-based medicine, physicians are searching for tested and proven referral programs to provide health education and weight loss programs for children and adults, which achieve positive health outcomes.

The objective of this proposal is to enhance rural access to our locally successful, evidence-based, family-based, pediatric obesity treatment program, Building Healthy Families. Program translation will utilize distance learning technologies (synchronous and asynchronous) to allow rural community members in Greater Nebraska, where currently available resources and expertise are limited, to participate in the 12-week program.

Impacts

The project was deemed a success because a tremendous amount was learned about video conferencing delivery to rural families in an intensive family-based obesity treatment program. The team was able to evaluate what worked, and what did not work, and developed ideas of how to take next steps to enhance reach and modify delivery. The team was able to collaborate with new investigators from UNMC who have experience and expertise with evaluation of community interventions. The ability to better analyze the data facilitated the development of a proposal for external funding.

The objectives for the pilot study in Broken Bow and McCook included evaluation of passive and active recruitment from pediatricians and public schools in an effort to reach more potential families. The secondary objective compared the traditional Building Healthy Families program to a workbook control that was delivered to the rural communities. It is anticipated that the workbook control will experience weight loss, although not as much. However, the workbook control allows reach into rural communities where resources are not present. We are awaiting completion of the final data to determine the effectiveness of the program delivery to rural communities.

Two additional funding sources of $18,000 and $150,000 have allowed this project to expand. While a proposal to NIH for $3.3 million was not funded initially, the project is addressing reviewer critiques with plans to resubmit the proposal in the fall of 2018.

Project Team

  • Kate Heelan (PI), University of Nebraska at Kearney, Kinesiology and Sports Sciences
  • Todd Bartee (Co-PI), University of Nebraska at Kearney, Kinesiology and Sports Sciences
  • Nannette Hogg, University of Nebraska at Kearney, Department of Communications
  • Bryce Abbey, University of Nebraska at Kearney, Kinesiology and Sports Sciences
  • Matthew Bice, University of Nebraska at Kearney, Kinesiology and Sports Sciences
  • Allan Jenkins, University of Nebraska at Kearney, Department of Economics
  • Ron Konecny, University of Nebraska at Kearney, Department of Management

Partners

Presentations

  • American College of Sports Medicine National Meeting
    Attenuation of Excessive Weight Gain One Year Post Pediatric Obesity Treatment Initiation
    May 29, 2018 | Minneapolis, MN
  • American College of Sports Medicine National Meeting
    Public Health Impact of a Family-based Pediatric Obesity Treatment Program
    May 29, 2018 | Minneapolis, MN
  • Nebraska Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Annual Conference
    A Community Approach to Pediatric Obesity Treatment: Kearney Public Schools and Building Healthy Families
    April 20, 2018 | Lincoln, NE
  • International Society for Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity Annual Conference
    Adaptation of a Family-based Behavioral Weight Control Treatment Program for Rural Midwest US Families
    June 7-10, 2017 | Victoria Canada
  • International Society for Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity Annual Conference
    Interventions for Community Implementation: Process and Outcomes
    June 7-10, 2017 | Victoria Canada
  • American College of Sports Medicine Annual Meeting
    Self-Monitoring as a Predictor for Weight Loss in a Family-based Pediatric Obesity Treatment Program
    May, 2017 | Denver, CO
  • Central Nebraska Child Obesity Conference
    Signs of Progress: Kearney Public Schools & Building Healthy Families Pediatric Obesity Treatment Program
    December, 2016 | Hastings, NE
  • Rural Futures Institute Forum
    Pediatric Obesity Treatment Program for Adoption in Rural Communities
    September 27, 2016 | North Platte, NE

 

Media Coverage

 

Contact: Kate Heelan, heelanka@unk.edu