Preschool-Based Obesity Prevention Effectiveness Trial


To compare a 14-week teacher-delivered weight control intervention to a 14-week teacher-delivered general health control intervention to minority children in preschool.


Obesity is an epidemic in the United States and is associated with increased risk for numerous medical problems. Many obesity-related risk factors are strikingly apparent in minority populations. Ethnic differences in obesity-related risk factors begin as early as six to nine years of age, thus, the need for overweight prevention efforts as early as the preschool years is critical. This project builds upon the findings of Hip Hop to Health, Jr. (HL58871). The primary aim of this randomized controlled efficacy trial was to compare changes in body mass index (BMI [kg/m]) among 3- to 5-year-old minority children randomized to a weight control intervention (WCI) or a general health control intervention (GHI). Results for the children at Year 1 follow-up showed that children in WCI had significantly smaller relative changes in BMI compared to children in GHI. Hip Hop to Health, Jr. was a successful efficacy trial delivered by specialists in early childhood education and the first efficacy trial to document changes in BMI in preschool minority children. The next critical step in our research is to demonstrate generalizability of the intervention by implementing the intervention in a more "real world" setting. This project tests a 14-week teacher delivered weight control intervention (TC-WCI) to a 14-week teacher delivered general health control intervention (TD-GHI). The study has the following aims:

  1. To compare children in these two conditions on changes in BMI postintervention and at Year 2 follow-up;
  2. To compare children in these two conditions on changes in television viewing, physical activity, fat, fiber, and vegetable intake at post-intervention and Year 1 follow-up;
  3. To compare classroom teachers in these two conditions on nutrition and exercise knowledge, nutrition attitudes, and support for health eating post-intervention and Year 1 follow-up.

This research allows us to address critical gaps in our knowledge concerning how to implement interventions from more experimental studies to more "real world" settings serving minority and disadvantaged populations.

Principal investigator
Funding Agency

National Health Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) (Grant No. HL081645) of the National Institutes of Health


Carol Braunschweig, PhD, RD
Melinda Stolley, PhD


Prior to this grant, earlier research to refine this intervention was supported by the Kraft Foundation. The foundation's grant of $328,000 (4/1/2004 to 4/1/2005) supported the work of Marian L. Fitzgibbon, PhD (principal investigator), and co-investigators Alan Dyer, PhD (Northwestern University) and Melinda Stolley, PhD, on "Happy Healthy Kids: An Obesity Prevention Intervention for Preschool Children."

Start date
End date
Total award

Related publications

See publications supported by this grant on this PubMed list

Kong A, Buscemi J, Stolley MR, Schiffer LA, Kim Y, Braunschweig CL, Gomez-Perez SL, Blumstein LB, Van Horn L, Dyer AR, Fitzgibbon ML. Hip-Hop to Health Jr. randomized effectiveness trial: 1-year follow-up results. Am J Prev Med. 2016 Feb;50(2):136-44. [See abstract.]

Kong A, Vijayasiri G, Fitzgibbon ML, Schiffer LA, Campbell RT. Confirmatory factor analysis and measurement invariance of the Child Feeding Questionnaire in low-income Hispanic and African-American mothers with preschool-age children. Appetite. 2015 Jul;90:16-22. [See abstract.]

Fitzgibbon ML, Stolley MR, Schiffer L, Kong A, Braunschweig CL, Gomez-Perez SL, Odoms-Young A, Van Horn L, Christoffel KK, Dyer AR. Family-based Hip-Hop to health: outcome results. Obesity (Silver Spring). 2013 Feb;21(2):274-83. [See abstract.]

Lown DA, Fitzgibbon ML, Dyer A, Schiffer L, Gomez S, Braunschweig CL. Effect of variable energy served on 24-hour energy intake in 16 preschools, Chicago, Illinois, 2007.  Prev Chronic Dis. 2011 May;8(3):A58. [See abstract.]

Fitzgibbon ML, Stolley MR, Schiffer LA, Braunschweig CL, Gomez SL, Van Horn L, Dyer AR. Hip-hop to health jr. Obesity prevention effectiveness trial: postintervention results. Obesity (Silver Spring). 2011 May;19(5):994-1003. [See abstract.]