Establishing Healthy Habits to Decrease Obesity Risk in Families with Preschool Children

The challenge

What can you develop (gaming/app) as a solution to help low-income families with young children establish, maintain & sustain healthy behaviors r/t eating, activity, and/or sleep through routines?

The solution needs to include:

#1. A family focus: Since children are dependent on their parents a family-focus is needed (at least one preschool child and parent/caregiver living in the same home).

#2. A way to engage preschool children (ages greater than 3 and up to 6) and parents.

#3. A practical and user friendly approach for low-income families?

#4. Sustainability is key:

  1. How can we help families sustain healthy behaviors related to eating, activity, and sleep that includes routines such as mealtime, family time and/or bedtime prep?
    1. Mealtime is a time to eat together with more than one person, in the same location, eating the same foods, with no TV/video/computer.
    2. Family activity includes one or more family members participating.
  • Presleep routine includes activities such as brushing teeth, reading.

Additional Resources

  1. Obesity Statistics
    2. Ogden CL, Carroll MD, Lawman HG, Fryar CD, Kruszon-Moran D, Kit BK, Flegal KM: Trends in Obesity Prevalence Among Children and Adolescents in the United States, 1988-1994 Through 2013-2014. JAMA 2016, 315(21): 2292-2299. doi:10.1001/jama.2016.6361
    3. CDC: Prevalence of childhood obesity among young low-income WIC children in the United States, 2014. Child obesity facts. Atlanta, GA: US Department of Health and Human Services, CDC, 2016.
  2. Intervention Studies r/t Obesity and Preschool Children
    1. Ling L, Robbins LB, Wen F: Interventions to prevent and manage overweight or obesity in preschool children: A systematic review. International Journal of Nursing Studies 2016, 53:270-289.
    2. Taveras, E.M., Perkins, M., Anand, S., Woo Baidal, J.A., Nelson, C.C., Kamdar, N., Kwass, J.A., Gortmaker, s.l., Barrett, J.L., Davison, K.K., Land,T.: Clinical effectiveness of the Massachusetts childhood obesity research demonstration initiative among low-income children. Obesity 2017, 25(7): 1159-1166. doi: 10.1002/oby.21866
  3. Family approach/Parent role
    1. Danford CA, Schultz CM, Marvicsin DJ: Parental roles in the development of obesity in children: Challenges and opportunities. Research and Reports in Biology 2015, 6:39-53.
    2. Faith MS, Van Horn L, Appel LJ, Burke LE, Carson JAS, Franch HA, Jakicic JM, Kral TVE, Odoms-Young A, Wansink B, Wylie-Rosett J: Evaluating Parents and Adult Caregivers as “Agents of Change” for Treating Obese Children: Evidence for Parent Behavior Change Strategies and Research Gaps: A Scientific Statement From the American Heart Association. Circulation 2012, 125:1186-207.
  4. Children, Obesity and Routine
    1. Taveras EM, McDonald J, O’Brien A, Haines J, Sherry B, Bottino CJ, Troncoso K, Schmidt ME, Koziol R: Healthy Habits, Happy Homes: Methods and baseline data of a randomized controlled trial to improve household routines for obesity prevention. Preventive Medicine 2012, 55:418-26.
    2. Anderson SE, Whitaker RC: Household Routines and Obesity in US Preschool-Aged Children. Pediatrics 2010, 125:420-8.
    3. Bell JF, Zimmerman FJ: Shortened nighttime sleep duration in early life and subsequent childhood obesity. Archives of pediatrics & adolescent medicine 2010, 164:840-5.
    4. Fiese BH, Hammons A, Grigsby-Toussaint D: Family mealtimes: a contextual approach to understanding childhood obesity. Economics & Human Biology 2012, 10:365-74.