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Research Project: Childhood Obesity Prevention

Location: Children's Nutrition Research Center

Title: Family TXT: Feasibility and acceptability of a mHealth obesity prevention program for parents of pre-adolescent African American girls

Author
item Callender, Chishinga - Children'S Nutrition Research Center (CNRC)
item Thompson, Deborah - Debbe

Submitted to: Children
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/15/2018
Publication Date: 6/29/2018
Citation: Callender, C., Thompson, D.J. 2018. Family TXT: Feasibility and acceptability of a mHealth obesity prevention program for parents of pre-adolescent African American girls. Children. 5(6):81. http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/children5060081.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.3390/children5060081

Interpretive Summary: African American girls are at a greater risk of obesity, and parents play a key role in child obesity prevention. Child obesity prevention programs are needed to help parents of African American girls develop a healthy home environment. Mobile health (mHealth) programs have the potential to help parents create a home environment that promotes and supports child obesity prevention. Mothers reported positive reactions to the mHealth program; they liked the text messages, liked the website links, read the messages, used the information, and rated it highly. Most mothers made changes as a result of the program and shared the text messages with others. This research provides evidence that a mHealth child obesity prevention intervention is a feasible and acceptable method for delivering a child obesity prevention program to parents of African American girls.

Technical Abstract: Obesity prevalence is greater in African American girls than their non-Hispanic white peers. Obesity prevention programs are needed to help parents create an obesity-preventive home environment. This paper reports the feasibility and acceptability of a mHealth child obesity prevention program consisting of self-determination theory-grounded text messages promoting a healthy home food and activity environment to parents of 8–10-year-old African American girls. A one-group design with baseline and immediate post-intervention assessments was utilized. Mothers (n=19) received 36 text messages over 12 weeks. Feasibility and acceptability were assessed through staff logs and post-intervention surveys and an interview. Feasibility and acceptability criteria were met. Mothers reported positive reactions to the intervention; they liked the program, used the information, and all but one gave it an A or B grade. The majority made changes and shared the text messages with others. This research provides evidence that a theoretically grounded mHealth child obesity prevention intervention is feasible and acceptable to parents of African American girls.