Engaging children in the development of obesity interventions: Exploring outcomes that matter most among obesity positive outliers
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CitationSharifi, Mona, Gareth Marshall, Roberta E. Goldman, Courtney Cunningham, Richard Marshall, and Elsie M. Taveras. 2015. “Engaging Children in the Development of Obesity Interventions: Exploring Outcomes That Matter Most Among Obesity Positive Outliers.” Patient Education and Counseling 98 (11) (November): 1393–1401. doi:10.1016/j.pec.2015.06.007.
To explore outcomes and measures of success that matter most to 'positive outlier' children who improved their body mass index (BMI) despite living in obesogenic neighborhoods.
We collected residential address and longitudinal height/weight data from electronic health records of 22,657 children ages 6–12 years in Massachusetts. We defined obesity “hotspots” as zip codes where >15% of children had a BMI ≥95th percentile. Using linear mixed effects models, we generated a BMI z-score slope for each child with a history of obesity. We recruited 10–12 year-olds with negative slopes living in hotspots for focus groups. We analyzed group transcripts and discussed emerging themes in iterative meetings using an immersion/crystallization approach.
We reached thematic saturation after 4 focus groups with 21 children. Children identified bullying and negative peer comparisons related to physical appearance, clothing size, and athletic ability as motivating them to achieve a healthier weight, and they measured success as improvement in these domains. Positive relationships with friends and family facilitated both behavior change initiation and maintenance.
The perspectives of positive outlier children can provide insight into children’s motivations leading to successful obesity management. Practice implications: Child/family engagement should guide the development of patient-centered obesity interventions.
Citable link to this pagehttp://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:32293357
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