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Research Project

Adaptation and Dissemination of an Evidence-Based Obesity Prevention Intervention

Principal Investigator
Fitzgibbon, Marian L.
Start Date
End Date


Obesity has become epidemic in the United States. Socioeconomic status and race and ethnicity are associated with disparities in health outcomes, and this is particularly evident with obesity and families from low-income populations. Recent data suggest the prevalence of obesity among low-income, preschool children is even higher than estimates for the full population. Thus, the preschool years may represent a critical period for addressing weight-related behaviors among these at-risk groups. Poor diet quality and inactivity are known to increase the risk for obesity.

To address disparities in diet and activity among minority, low-income children and their parents and caregivers, we developed "Hip-Hop to Health," a nutrition and physical activity obesity prevention program.

We evaluated the intervention by comparing changes in body mass index (BMI) in 3- to 5-year-old minority, low-income children randomized to either Hip-Hop to Health or a general health intervention. Results at follow-up showed that children in Hip-Hop to Health had smaller changes in BMI compared to children in the control group. The study of Hip-Hop to Health was the first efficacy trial to document beneficial effects on BMI trajectory in low-income, preschool children.

In this study, we adapt, implement, evaluate, and disseminate this evidence-based obesity prevention intervention through a partnership with the University of Illinois Extension Cook County, the University of Illinois at Chicago Partnership for Health Promotion (a program that delivers Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program Education), and UIC.

Research Partner(s)

University of Illinois Extension Cook County

University of Illinois at Chicago Partnership for Health Promotion

Related Publication(s)

Buscemi J, Odoms-Young A, Stolley ML, Blumstein L, Schiffer L, Berbaum ML, McCaffrey J, Montoya AM, Braunschweig C, Fitzgibbon ML. Adaptation and dissemination of an evidence-based obesity prevention intervention: design of a comparative effectiveness trial. Contemp Clin Trials. 2014 Jul;38(2):355-60. [See abstract.]

See also publications describing earlier studies on Hip Hop to Health.

Research Product(s)

Learn more about the Hip Hop to Health Curriculum.

Total award:


Funding Agency:

National Institute of Food and Agriculture of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (Award No. 2011-67001-30109)