The Extension Family Lifestyle Intervention Project (E-FLIP for Kids) is a three-arm, randomized controlled trial assessing the effectiveness of two behavioral weight management interventions in an important and at-risk population, overweight and obese children and their parents in rural counties.
Participants will include 240 parent-child dyads from nine rural counties in north central Florida. Dyads will be randomized to one of three conditions: (a) a Family-Based Behavioral Group Intervention, (b) a Parent-Only Behavioral Group Intervention, and (c) an Education Control Condition. Child and parent participants will be assessed at baseline (month 0), post-treatment (month 12) and follow-up (month 24). Assessment and intervention sessions will be held at Cooperative Extension Service offices within each participating county. The primary outcome measure is change in child BMI z-score. Additional key outcome measures include child body fat, waist circumference, dietary intake, physical activity, blood lipids, blood glucose, blood pressure, physical fitness, quality of life, and program and participants costs. Parent BMI, dietary intake, and physical activity also will be assessed.
Randomized controlled trials testing the effectiveness of childhood obesity interventions in real-world community-based settings are extremely valuable, but much too rare. The E-FLIP for Kids trial will evaluate the impact of a community based intervention delivered to families in rural settings utilizing the existing Cooperative Extension Service network on long-term child behavior, weight status and biological markers of diabetes and early cardiovascular disease. If successful, a Parent-Only intervention program may provide a cost-effective and practical intervention for families in underserved rural communities.