Objective: Hip-Hop to Health Jr. was a diet/physical activity intervention designed to reduce gains in BMI (kilograms per meter squared) in preschool minority children.
Research methods and procedures: Twelve predominantly Latino Head Start centers participated in a group-randomized trial conducted between Fall 2001 and Winter 2003. Six centers were randomized to a culturally proficient 14-week (three times weekly) diet/physical activity intervention. Parents participated by completing weekly homework assignments. The children in the other six centers received a general health intervention that did not address either diet or physical activity. The primary outcome was change in BMI, and secondary outcomes were changes in dietary intake and physical activity. Measures were collected at baseline, post-intervention, and at Years 1 and 2 follow-up.
Results: There were no significant differences between intervention and control schools in either primary or secondary outcomes at post-intervention, Year 1, or Year 2 follow-ups.
Discussion: When Hip-Hop to Health Jr. was conducted in predominantly black Head Start centers, it was effective in reducing subsequent increases in BMI in preschool children. In contrast, when the program was conducted in Latino centers, it was not effective. Although the intervention did not prevent excessive weight gain in Latino children, it was very well received. Future interventions with this population may require further cultural tailoring and a more robust parent intervention.