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Open AccessReview

Practicalities and Research Considerations for Conducting Childhood Obesity Prevention Interventions with Families

Priority Research Centre in Physical Activity and Nutrition, University of Newcastle, Callaghan Campus, Newcastle 2308, Australia
Early Start Research Institute, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Wollongong, Wollongong 2522, Australia
Centre for Physical Activity and Nutrition Research, Deakin University, Geelong 3126, Australia
Discipline of Nutrition and Dietetics, Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences, Flinders University, Adelaide 5042, Australia
School of Psychology, Australian Catholic University, Sydney 3065, Australia
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Sari A. Acra
Children 2016, 3(4), 24;
Received: 29 July 2016 / Revised: 19 October 2016 / Accepted: 25 October 2016 / Published: 8 November 2016
PDF [232 KB, uploaded 8 November 2016]


Internationally, childhood obesity is a major public health concern. Given the established difficulties in treating obesity, designing and evaluating effective obesity prevention interventions are research priorities. As parents play a crucial role in establishing positive health behaviours in children, they are a key target for child obesity prevention programs. However, recruiting and engaging parents in such interventions can be a considerable challenge for researchers and practitioners. Members of the ‘Parenting, Child Behaviour and Well-being’ stream of the Australasian Child and Adolescent Obesity Research Network (ACAORN) have considerable and varied expertise in conducting such interventions and can provide insights into addressing these challenges. This paper aims to highlight considerations regarding the design, implementation, and evaluation of obesity prevention interventions with families and provide practical insights and recommendations for researchers and practitioners conducting family-based research in this area. Case studies of three family-based interventions conducted by ACAORN members are highlighted to provide examples and contextualise the recommendations proposed. View Full-Text
Keywords: family-based; obesity; parents; prevention; interventions; child obesity prevention family-based; obesity; parents; prevention; interventions; child obesity prevention
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Morgan, P.J.; Jones, R.A.; Collins, C.E.; Hesketh, K.D.; Young, M.D.; Burrows, T.L.; Magarey, A.M.; Brown, H.L.; Hinkley, T.; Perry, R.A.; Brennan, L.; Spence, A.C.; Campbell, K.J. Practicalities and Research Considerations for Conducting Childhood Obesity Prevention Interventions with Families. Children 2016, 3, 24.

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