Research Perspectives in Practice| Volume 108, ISSUE 11, P1902-1906, November 2008

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Providing Obesity Prevention Counseling to Children during a Primary Care Clinic Visit: Results from a Pilot Study


      The purpose of this study was to evaluate parent response to a clinic-based primary prevention intervention to increase the proportion of 5- to 10-year-old children receiving annual body mass index screening and counseling about physical activity, dietary practices, and sedentary practices. A posttest-only, quasiexperimental design was used. Two clinics that provide routine health care to school-aged children agreed to participate in the pilot study. A multicomponent intervention was implemented in one clinic; the other provided care as usual. A convenience sample of parents (n=117) completed a survey after a clinic visit. Descriptive statistics, Fisher's exact, and χ2 tests of significance and logistic regression were used to examine study outcomes. Most parents (>80%) believed it was important for health care providers to share information with them about their child's weight and physical activity, diet, and sedentary practices. Intervention parents were significantly more likely to report receiving information from their health care provider about their child's weight and weight-related behavior counseling than control parents. More intervention than control parents reported they intended their child to get five or more servings of fruits/vegetables on most days during the next 30 days (25% vs 9%; P=0.049). Outcomes suggest parents regard the take-home message they receive from health care providers about their child's weight and weight-related lifestyle practices as relevant and a potential motivating factor when considering behavior change. Further development of the intervention and testing in a larger experimental trial are warranted to determine effects on behavior change and body weight.
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      M. Y. Kubik is an associate professor and B. Dudovitz was a consultant to the project, School of Nursing, and M. Story is a professor and C. Davey is a research fellow, School of Public Health, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis


      E. U. Zuehlke is director, Community Benefit, Allina Hospitals and Clinics, Minneapolis, MN