Families struggling with obesity face daunting challenges. There is an urgent need for pediatric obesity interventions that support constructive attitudes and holistic perspectives and that are based on approaches that are meaningful to families. In a recent series of focus groups on healthy eating that Family Voices conducted as part of our IMPACT Health & Wellness Initiative, we found that sitting down to talk to peers was a powerful experience for families that had implications for healthy eating far beyond the original goals of these group-based discussions. We propose to develop a group-based peer-led intervention to reduce obesity and promote healthy eating and lifestyles, building on the foundation provided by our IMPACT Health & Wellness Initiative, which is a Bright Futures collaboration.
Bright Futures (www.brightfutures.org) is a health promotion initiative supported by the American Academy of Pediatrics that centers on the themes Promoting Healthy Food and Eating, Physical Activity, Emotional Wellness and Mental Health, Child Development, Oral Health, and other topics that are core to promoting a holistic approach to health. For the first phase of this project, we will engage a network of community-based organizations, researchers, and stakeholders in dialogue about obesity and healthy eating and lifestyles. We have identified disparities in health and access to services for Spanish-speaking individuals, Native Americans, and families in rural areas as topics of major concern for our community-based partners in the western United States.