Date of Award

Spring 4-1-2015

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Public Health (MPH)

Department

Public Health

First Advisor

Sheryl Strasser

Second Advisor

Lauren Lorenzo

Third Advisor

Amelia Jazwa

Abstract

BACKGROUND: The purpose of this study was to explore demographic associations and their predictive value of effective weight maintenance among participants in the Children's Healthcare of Atlanta [CHOA] Strong4Life program for children and youth ages 2 to 20.

METHODS: Analyses are based on the Strong4Life clinic data collected by Strong4Life from 2010 through 2014. Participants of the program fell into the 85th percentile and above for Body Mass Index (BMI). Descriptive tests, comparison of means, and logistic regression analyses were run to determine if patterns in the data examining demographic characteristics of the sample and their relationship to successful weight management were statistically significant.

RESULTS: Logistic regression findings indicate that ethnicity (OR=2.737, CI: 1.273-5.892) p =0.01 is a predictor of successful weight management (n=324). Stong4Life defined program success as a decrease in BMI z-score of 0.04. While gender, race, baseline weight, asthma and pre-diabetes status were examined; statistical tests did not detect significant variations among the participants. Overall, the Strong4Life program is successful as seen by the p value< 0.001.

CONCLUSIONS: Findings from this study are important for childhood obesity programs because tailoring strategies that align with unique segments of the population maximize their potential reach. Obesity research is required to advance intervention development that is sensitive to patterns and distinctions that exist among subpopulations. These findings are important for prevention of childhood obesity efforts and promotion of multidisciplinary approaches to combat obesity world-wide.

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