Preventing Weight Gain and Obesity: Indirect Effects of the Family Check-Up in Early Childhood

Preventing Weight Gain and Obesity: Indirect Effects of the Family Check-Up in Early Childhood The early signs of obesity are observable in early childhood. Although the most promising prevention approaches are family-centered, few relevant early prevention programs exist. This study evaluated the effects of an evidence-based, home-visiting intervention, the Family Check-Up (FCU), on the trajectory of children’s weight gain. The FCU was designed to prevent the development of behavior problems by improving family management practices; children’s weight has not been an explicit target. On the basis of previous research and conceptual models, we hypothesized that intervention effects on parenting practices, specifically caregivers’ use of positive behavior support (PBS) strategies in toddlerhood, would mediate improvements in children’s weight trajectories. A total of 731 indigent caregiver–child dyads from a multisite randomized intervention trial were examined. Observational assessment of parenting and mealtime behaviors occurred from age 2–5 years. The child’s body mass index (BMI) was assessed yearly from age 5–9.5 years. Path analysis with a latent growth model revealed a significant indirect effect of the FCU on the trajectory of BMI in later childhood. Improvements in caregivers’ PBS in toddlerhood, which was related to the nutritional quality of the meals caregivers served to the child during the mealtime task, served as the intervening process. Furthermore, findings indicate that the FCU prevents progression to overweight and obese status amongst at-risk children. These study results add to existing evidence that has demonstrated that family-based interventions aimed at improving general family management skills are effective at preventing weight gain. Future directions are discussed. Prevention Science Springer Journals

Preventing Weight Gain and Obesity: Indirect Effects of the Family Check-Up in Early Childhood

Loading next page...
Springer US
Copyright © 2014 by Society for Prevention Research
Medicine & Public Health; Public Health; Health Psychology; Child and School Psychology
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site


You’re reading a free preview. Subscribe to read the entire article.

DeepDyve is your
personal research library

It’s your single place to instantly
discover and read the research
that matters to you.

Enjoy affordable access to
over 12 million articles from more than
10,000 peer-reviewed journals.

All for just $49/month

Explore the DeepDyve Library

Unlimited reading

Read as many articles as you need. Full articles with original layout, charts and figures. Read online, from anywhere.

Stay up to date

Keep up with your field with Personalized Recommendations and Follow Journals to get automatic updates.

Organize your research

It’s easy to organize your research with our built-in tools.

Your journals are on DeepDyve

Read from thousands of the leading scholarly journals from SpringerNature, Elsevier, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford University Press and more.

All the latest content is available, no embargo periods.

See the journals in your area

Monthly Plan

  • Read unlimited articles
  • Personalized recommendations
  • No expiration
  • Print 20 pages per month
  • 20% off on PDF purchases
  • Organize your research
  • Get updates on your journals and topic searches


Start Free Trial

14-day Free Trial

Best Deal — 39% off

Annual Plan

  • All the features of the Professional Plan, but for 39% off!
  • Billed annually
  • No expiration
  • For the normal price of 10 articles elsewhere, you get one full year of unlimited access to articles.



billed annually
Start Free Trial

14-day Free Trial