Childhood obesity prevention and control in city recreation centres and family homes: The MOVE/me Muevo Project

J. P. Elder, N. C. Crespo, K. Corder, G. X. Ayala, D. J. Slymen, N. V. Lopez, J. S. Moody, T. L. McKenzie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations


Background Interventions to prevent and control childhood obesity have shown mixed results in terms of short- and long-term changes. Objectives 'MOVE/me Muevo' was a 2-year family- and recreation centre-based randomized controlled trial to promote healthy eating and physical activity among 5- to 8-year-old children. It was hypothesized that children in the intervention group would demonstrate lower post-intervention body mass index (BMI) values and improved obesity-related behaviours compared with the control group children. Methods Thirty recreation centres in San Diego County, California, were randomized to an intervention or control condition. Five hundred forty-one families were enrolled and children's BMI, diet, physical activity and other health indicators were tracked from baseline to 2 years post-baseline. Analyses followed an intent-to-treat approach using mixed-effects models. Results No significant intervention effects were observed for the primary outcomes of child's or parent's BMI and child's waist circumference. Moderator analyses, however, showed that girls (but not boys) in the intervention condition reduced their BMI. At the 2-year follow-up, intervention condition parents reported that their children were consuming fewer high-fat foods and sugary beverages. Conclusions Favourable implementation fidelity and high retention rates support the feasibility of this intervention in a large metropolitan area; however, interventions of greater intensity may be needed to achieve effects on child's BMI. Also, further research is needed to develop gender-specific intervention strategies so that both genders may benefit from such efforts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)218-231
Number of pages14
JournalPediatric obesity
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Obesity
  • paediatric
  • prevention
  • recreation centres

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Health Policy
  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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