Pi Phi Chapter

YMCA Healthy Kids Collaborative Healthy Weight Intervention

Nursing Research on the Green

2017 Abstract

Sheri Merten, MSN, APRN, CNP and Melissa Price, MSN, APRN, CNP  Viterbo University

  • Background:  Childhood obesity has increased at an alarming rate over the past 3 decades.  According to recent data, approximately 12.7 million children and adolescents, ages 2-19, are obese with a BMI ^95%.  The 2013 Olmsted County Community Needs Assessment identified obesity as one of their top five priorities.
  • Significance:  Obese children and adolescence are at an immediate risk of developing co-morbidities such as diabetes, hypertension, early puberty, sleep apnea, asthma, musculoskeletal disorders and psychological issues.  Furthermore, 50% of these individuals go on to develop additional co-morbidities in adulthood.
  • Purpose/objective: Community-based, family-centered programs offer promise in combatting the public health crisis of childhood obesity.  An intervention utilizing the Lets Go Main 5210 program coupled with family interaction had the potential to improve children's physical activity and nutrition-related behaviors.  Therefore, an intervention of a community-based, one-week summer camp, namely Healthy Kids Camp, including 5-2-1-0 education and follow-up family components was developed.  Then, in a controlled pilot study, evaluation was desired on the health impact of the intervention components on healthy habits, BMI and waist circumference.
  • Methods/project:  Recruitment packets were mailed to families of participants enrolled in the designated summer intervention and control camps.  Parents of those that agreed to participate in the outlined study components, signed a HIPPA form and returned it with demographic information and initial healthy habits survey pertaining to their child.  Assent was later obtained from the child at the first study visit, before obtaining height, weight, waist circumference and baseline 5-2-1-0 knowledge.  In the following camp days, children of the intervention group received daily 5-2-1-0 education while control groups only received standard camp curriculum.  At follow-up intervention group family evening sessions, the entire family participated in cooking demonstrations and physical activities where 5-2-1-0 messaging was incorporated throughout.
  • Results: Systematic evaluation of pre- and post-camp data of BMI, waist circumference, healthy habits, and demographic characteristics of both groups was accomplished.  The immediate post intervention 5-2-1-0 survey demonstrated a statistically significant increase in knowledge on all questions.  However, the six month post intervention survey showed only one question remained statistically significant (p=0.04).  The BMI percentile of the intervention group was comparably higher and statistically significant (p=0.001) while controlling for confounding variables both pre- and post-intervention. The parental healthy habits surveys demonstrated a statistically significant decrease (p=0.001) in the amount of daily fruit and vegetable intake at the post intervention mark.  The remainder of the parental survey responses were not statistically significant.  Overall, this pilot study did not demonstrate retained knowledge or healthier habits because of 5-2-1-0 education. 
  • Clinical implications:  Regardless of statistical significance, lessons were learned for furthering pediatric obesity research.  This pilot study, easily modified for specific age groups, could be incorporated into other community settings or disseminated into school environments.  Further trials would be beneficial for additional educational outreach and research opportunities.

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