¡Miranos! An 8-Month Comprehensive Preschool Obesity Prevention Program in Low-Income Latino Children: Effects on Children’s Gross Motor Development




Errisuriz, Vanessa L.
Parra-Medina, Deborah
Liang, Yuanyuan
Howard, Jeffrey T.
Li, Shiyu
Sosa, Erica
Ullevig, Sarah L.
Estrada-Coats, Vanessa M.
Yin, Zenong

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Organized childcare is an ideal setting to promote gross motor development in young children from low-income minority families. A three-group clustered randomized controlled trial was conducted in Head Start centers serving low-income Latino children to evaluate the impact of an 8-month comprehensive obesity-prevention intervention on children’s percentile scores for locomotive skills (LS pctl) and ball skills (BS pctl), and general motor quotient (GMQ). Trained Head Start staff delivered the center-based intervention (CBI) to modify center physical activity and nutrition policies, staff practices, and child behaviors, while the home-based intervention (HBI) offered training and support to parents for obesity prevention at home. Participants were 3-year-old children (n = 310; 87% Latino; 58% female) enrolled in Head Start centers in South Texas. Twelve centers were randomized (1:1:1 ratio) to receive CBI, CBI and HBI (CBI + HBI), or control treatment. Posttest data were collected from 79.1% of participants. All gross motor development measures improved significantly for children in CBI compared to the control, while children in CBI + HBI only showed improvement for GMQ (p = 0.09) and LS pctl (p < 0.001) compared to the control. A comprehensive and culturally competent intervention targeting childcare centers and children’s homes was effective at improving children’s gross motor development and reducing disparities in child development.




International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 20 (21): 6974 (2023)