Hip-Hop to Health Jr., an obesity prevention program for minority preschool children: Baseline characteristics of participants

Melinda R. Stolley*, Marian L. Fitzgibbon, Alan Dyer, Linda Van Horn, Katherine KauferChristoffel, Linda Schiffer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

60 Scopus citations


Background. The prevalence of obesity in the United States is a significant public health problem. Many obesity-related risk factors are more prevalent in minority populations. Given the recalcitrant nature of weight loss interventions for adults, prevention of overweight and obesity has become a high priority. The present study reports baseline data from an obesity prevention intervention developed for minority preschool children. Methods. Hip-Hop to Health Jr. is a 5-year randomized controlled intervention that targets 3- to 5-year-old minority children enrolled in 24 Head Start programs. Our primary aim is to test the effect of the intervention on change in body mass index. Data were collected on sociodemographic, anthropometric, behavioral, and cognitive variables for the children and parents at baseline. Results. Participants included 416 black children, 337 black parents, 362 Latino children, and 309 Latino parents. Using body mass index for age and sex ≥ the 95th percentile as the definition of overweight, 15% of the black children and 28% of the Latino children were overweight. More than 75% of the parents were either overweight or obese. Discussion. The development of interventions to effectively prevent or control obesity early in life is crucial. These data highlight the escalating problem of weight control in minority populations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)320-329
Number of pages10
JournalPreventive medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2003


  • Black
  • Child health
  • Latino
  • Minorities
  • Obesity
  • Prevention

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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