Page Banner

United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: DEVELOPMENT AND PREVENTION OF CHILDHOOD OBESITY Title: Butterfly Girls; promoting healthy diet and physical activity to young African American girls online: Rationale and design

Authors
item Thompson, Deborah
item Mahabir, Rory -
item Bhatt, Riddhi -
item Boutte, Cynthia -
item Cantu, Dora -
item Vazquez, Isabel -
item Callender, Chishinga -
item Cullen, Karen -
item Baranowski, Tom -
item Liu, Yan -
item Walker, Celeste -
item Buday, Richard -

Submitted to: BioMed Central(BMC) Public Health
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: May 22, 2013
Publication Date: August 9, 2013
Citation: Thompson, D.J., Mahabir, R., Bhatt, R., Boutte, C., Cantu, D., Vazquez, I., Callender, C., Cullen, K., Baranowski, T., Liu, Y., Walker, C., Buday, R. 2013. Butterfly Girls; promoting healthy diet and physical activity to young African American girls online: Rationale and design. BioMed Central(BMC) Public Health. 13:709.

Interpretive Summary: Effective child obesity prevention programs are needed. Because culture influences the choices we make, such as those related to diet and physical activity, culturally adapted programs may be an effective way to encourage children to make healthy diet and physical activity choices. To be effective, however, programs must also be developmentally appropriate and appealing to both parents and children. This paper presents the rationale and design for a culturally and developmentally appropriate online obesity prevention program for 8- to 10-year-old African American girls.

Technical Abstract: Young African American girls have a high risk of obesity. Online behavior change programs promoting healthy diet and physical activity are convenient and may be effective for reducing disparities related to obesity. This report presents the protocol guiding the design and evaluation of a culturally and developmental appropriate online obesity prevention program for young African American girls. The Butterfly Girls and the Quest for Founder's Rock is an 8-episode online program delivered as an animated, interactive comic. The program promotes healthy diet and physical activity and is specifically designed for 8– to 10-year-old African American girls. Girls, parents, and community representatives provided formative feedback on cultural relevance and developmental appropriateness. A three-group (treatment, comparison, wait-list control) randomized design (n = 390 parent/child dyads) is employed, with child as the unit of assignment. Change in body mass index is the primary outcome; change in fruit and vegetable consumption, water, and physical activity are secondary outcomes. Data collection occurs at baseline, approximately 3 months after baseline (i.e., completion of the online program), and approximately 3 months later (i.e., maintenance assessment). Two dietary recalls are collected at each data collection period by trained interviewers using the Nutrient Data System for Research (NDSR 2012) system. Physical activity is objectively measured by seven days of accelerometry. Psychosocial and process data are also collected. Girls in the treatment and comparison groups will be interviewed at post 1 to obtain information on personal reactions to the program. This research will develop and evaluate the efficacy of an online program for reducing obesity risk among girls at risk of obesity and related diseases. Online programs offer the potential for wide dissemination, thus reducing disparities related to obesity.

Last Modified: 12/17/2014