A Community Health Center Childhood Obesity Program for Latino Families from an Agricultural Community: Mental Health and Physical Activity Outcomes
- Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved
- Johns Hopkins University Press
- Volume 34, Number 4, November 2023
- pp. 1305-1323
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The purpose of this study was to evaluate the impact of an ongoing multidisciplinary childhood obesity intervention, within a federally qualified health center, on mental health and physical activity outcomes with Latino children from an agricultural community. The program was evaluated using attendance and parent-reports of child mental health and physical activity levels. Paired t-tests and chi squared tests were used to examine pre-post change in outcomes. There were 100 total participants. The mean age was 9.40 years, and the mean BMI percentile was 97.39. Significant post-intervention improvements were observed in mental health externalizing and internalizing problems (p <.0001) and in weekly physical activity frequency (p =.0131) and duration (p = .0280). Childhood obesity interventions should target mental health problems as well as obesity as the two are closely related. Community health centers may be ideal settings for interventions as they can facilitate access to needed services for high-risk populations.