Skip to main content
ARS Home » Plains Area » Houston, Texas » Children's Nutrition Research Center » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #404977

Research Project: Preventing the Development of Childhood Obesity

Location: Children's Nutrition Research Center

Title: Diet quality among pre-adolescent African American girls in a randomized controlled obesity prevention intervention trial

item Thompson, Deborah - Debbe
item MIRABILE, YIMING - Children'S Nutrition Research Center (CNRC)
item ISLAM, NOEMI - Children'S Nutrition Research Center (CNRC)
item CALLENDER, CHISHINGA - Children'S Nutrition Research Center (CNRC)
item MUSAAD, SALMA - Children'S Nutrition Research Center (CNRC)
item MIRANDA, JULIE - Children'S Nutrition Research Center (CNRC)
item MORENO, JENNETTE - Children'S Nutrition Research Center (CNRC)
item DAVE, JAYNA - Children'S Nutrition Research Center (CNRC)
item BARANOWSKI, TOM - Children'S Nutrition Research Center (CNRC)

Submitted to: Nutrients
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/5/2023
Publication Date: 6/12/2023
Citation: Thompson, D.J., Mirabile, Y., Islam, N., Callender, C., Musaad, S.M., Miranda, J., Moreno, J.P., Dave, J.M., Baranowski, T. 2023. Diet quality among pre-adolescent African American girls in a randomized controlled obesity prevention intervention trial. Nutrients. 15(12). Article 2716.

Interpretive Summary: Childhood obesity remains a major public health issue, particularly among children of minority descent. A child obesity prevention online intervention, designed to ensure cultural relevance and developmental appropriateness while promoting healthy diet and physical activity, may provide a convenient and accessible method for impacting child obesity. Because diet increases health risks as well as obesity, we examined diet quality among girls with complete dietary data at all data collection points (2 dietitian-assisted 24-hr dietary recalls). Even though the intervention was designed using state-of-the art behavioral techniques and conducted extensive formative work to ensure developmental and cultural relevance, no significant differences in overall diet quality was observed. These findings imply that more work is needed to identify effective ways to modify behavior and achieve more equitable outcomes in diet and diet-related chronic diseases in under-represented children. This is an urgent public health priority and speaks to the importance of publishing non-significant findings so that we can learn from one another in our collective pursuit to advance knowledge and attain health equity.

Technical Abstract: Consuming an unhealthy diet increases health risks. This study assessed the impact of a culturally adapted behaviorally innovative obesity prevention intervention (The Butterfly Girls and the Quest for Founder's Rock) on diet quality in pre-adolescent non-Hispanic Black/African American girls. The RCT consisted of three groups (experimental, comparison, and waitlist control); block randomization allocated participants to each group. The two treatment groups varied in terms of whether or not they set goals. Data were collected at baseline (prior to receiving the intervention), post 1 (3 months post-baseline), and post 2 (6 months post-baseline). Two dietitian-assisted 24 h dietary recalls were collected at each timepoint. Healthy Eating Index 2015 (HEI-2015) was used to determine diet quality. A total of 361 families were recruited; 342 completed baseline data collection. No significant differences in overall HEI score or component scores were observed. To attain more equitable health outcomes, future efforts to promote dietary intake change among at-risk children should explore other behavior change procedures and employ more child-friendly dietary assessment methods.