A Pilot Study of Parent Mentors for Early Childhood Obesity

Byron A. Foster, Christian A. Aquino, Mario Gil, Jonathan A.L. Gelfond, Daniel E. Hale

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Objective. To assess the feasibility of a parent mentor model of intervention for early childhood obesity using positive deviance-based methods to inform the intervention. Methods. In this pilot, randomized clinical trial, parent-child dyads (age: 2-5) with children whose body mass index (BMI) was ≥95th percentile were randomized to parent mentor intervention or community health worker comparison. The child's height and weight were measured at baseline, after the six-month intervention, and six months after the intervention. Feasibility outcomes were recruitment, participation, and retention. The primary clinical outcome was BMI z-score change. Results. Sixty participants were enrolled, and forty-eight completed the six-month intervention. At baseline, the BMI z-score in the parent mentor group was 2.63 (SD = 0.65) and in the community health worker group it was 2.61 (SD = 0.89). For change in BMI z-score over time, there was no difference by randomization group at the end of the intervention:-0.02 (95% CI:-0.26, 0.22). At the end of the intervention, the BMI z-score for the parent mentor group was 2.48 (SD = 0.58) and for the community health worker group it was 2.45 (SD = 0.91), both reduced from baseline, p < 0.001. Conclusion. The model of a parent mentor clinical trial is feasible, and both randomized groups experienced small, sustained effects on adiposity in an obese, Hispanic population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number2609504
JournalJournal of Obesity
StatePublished - 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism


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