Parent Weight, Diet, Active Living, and Food-Related Outcomes of the Family-Focused:NU-HOME Randomized Controlled Trial

NU-HOME Randomized Controlled Trial
Published:October 13, 2022DOI:



      Little is known about parent outcomes of rural, family-focused childhood obesity prevention trials.


      Our aim was to evaluate parent outcomes of the rural, family-focused NU-HOME (New Ulm at HOME [Healthy Offerings via the Mealtime Environment]) randomized controlled trial designed to prevent obesity in children aged 7 through 10 years.


      Families were randomized to the intervention or wait-list control group after baseline data collection. Staff measured parent height, weight, and percent body fat. Surveys measured parent cognitive and behavioral outcomes (eg, portion-size confidence, dietary intake, total and moderate-to-vigorous physical activity, and screen time). Post-intervention data were collected 8 to 10 months after baseline.


      The randomized controlled trial took place in rural, south central Minnesota, and enrolled parent and child dyads (N = 114; 2017-2018); 98 parents provided data at post intervention (2018-2019) and comprise the analytic sample. Parent inclusion criteria were being the primary meal preparer, living with the child most of the time, and being willing to attend intervention sessions. Exclusion criteria were planning to move or having a medical condition that would contraindicate participation.


      The theory-guided intervention (7 sessions and 4 goal-setting calls) focused on family eating and active living behaviors.

      Main outcome measures

      Height, weight, and percent body fat were measured and the survey assessed diet, active living, and food-related outcomes.

      Statistical analyses performed

      Multiple linear regression models tested change in parent outcomes from baseline to post intervention by treatment group adjusted for demographic characteristics and baseline values.


      In the intervention group vs control group, parent total weekly hours of physical activity was 1.73 hours higher (95% CI 0.11 to 3.35 hours) and portion-size confidence was 1.49 points higher (95% CI 0.78 to 2.19). No other statistically significant changes were observed by treatment group.


      Findings indicate that parent cognitive and behavioral outcomes are amenable to change in family-focused childhood obesity prevention programs. Parent increases in portion-size confidence and total physical activity hours may support long-term parent health and provide positive context for child health.


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      M. L. Horning is an associate professor, School of Nursing, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis.


      S. Friend is a project director, NU-HOME Study, School of Nursing, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis.


      . L. Freese is a biostatistician, Biostatistical Design and Analysis Center, Clinical and Translational Science Institute, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis.


      . J. Barr-Anderson is an associate professor, School of Kinesiology, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis.


      J. A. Linde is an associate professor, Division of Epidemiology and Community Health, School of Public Health, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis.


      . Sidebottom is a principal scientist, Care Delivery Research, Allina Health, Minneapolis, MN.


      S. A. Sommerness is a clinical associate professor, School of Nursing, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis.


      J. A. Fulkerson is a professor, Cora Meidl Siehl Endowed Chair in Nursing Research, director of the Center for Child & Family Health Promotion Research, and director of the Clinical and Translational Science Institute Translational Research and Career Training TL1 Program and Translational Research Development Program, School of Nursing, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis.