Document Type

DNP Project


School of Nursing

Date of Degree

Spring 2020


Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

Primary Advisor

Mercedes Echevarria, DNP, APN; Karen Whitt, PhD, AGN-BC, FNP-C, FAANP


Background: Overweight and obesity among children contributes to significant adverse health outcomes that reduce quality of life. Because children are influenced by the behaviors of their parents, there is a need for multicomponent family-based interventions within the community to help overcome these issues.

Objectives: This quality improvement project provided parents and children aged four to six years old with an interactive nutrition and physical activity educational program to increase their knowledge related to healthy lifestyle patterns and alter BMI status.

Methods: A 10-week pre/posttest design was implemented to evaluate outcome measures including BMI percentile, physical activity and nutritional habits, and parental behaviors. The intervention included interactive educational sessions from the EatPlayGrow curriculum developed by the National Institutes of Health for both parents and their children.

Results: 23 children and 18 parents were enrolled in the study and provided pre/post- intervention and six-week follow-up data. At baseline, participant’s weight status categories included 56.5% obese, 13% overweight, and 30.5% normal weight. Postintervention, weight status categories included 17.4% obese, 39.1% overweight, and 43.5% normal weight. Paired sample t-tests showed statistically significant changes in child physical activity, child eating behaviors, child sedentary activity, fruit and vegetable consumption, and parenting behaviors between pre- and post-intervention data (all p <0.05).

Conclusion: Implementation of the intervention led to positive changes in weight status categories and several dietary and physical activity behaviors. The findings indicate that a community-based, family-centered program is feasible and demonstrates short-term effects on improving behaviors that contribute to the development of obesity among children.

Open Access


Included in

Nursing Commons



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