Low-income Hispanic children in Colorado are at high risk for overweight or for obesity, with weight issues beginning early in a child’s life. Despite this, Hispanic children and their families are often not meaningfully engaged in identifying and solving the issues that contribute to the high prevalence of childhood overweight and obesity. Moreover, most obesity prevention efforts focus on children ages 5 and older. It is well documented that changing behaviors later in a child’s life is much more difficult, especially if they already are overweight or obese. By the time the child is 5, behavior patterns for the child and parenting patterns for parents or caregivers are well established.
Children’s Hospital Colorado and its community partners are committed to developing culturally relevant interventions to prevent these health disparities among low-income Hispanic children from birth to age 5. Children’s Hospital Colorado will serve as the lead organization, and will engage hospital staff, faculty from the University of Colorado, community partners, and patient families to deepen the understanding of the challenges faced by low-income Hispanic parents of children ages birth to 5 with respect to establishing and maintaining a healthy weight.
Through the PCORI Tier I program, we will work with patient families and other stakeholders to build community capacity to address these challenges, with the long-term plan being to apply these learnings to design culturally appropriate interventions that can be tested for effectiveness in the primary care setting.