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Conjoint Behavioral Consultation: A Cross-Systemic Intervention to Manage Overweight and Obesity for Low Income Preschoolers

Research Team

Name Name Name

Principal Investigator: Brandy Clarke

Co-Principal Investigators: Lorey Wheeler, Susan Sheridan

Funding Information

Funding Agency: Office of Research and Economic Development—Biomedical Research Seed Grant

Award Date: Nov 24, 2014

End Date: Nov 23, 2015


One in four U.S. children between the ages of 2 and 5 is overweight or obese. Currently, 30.5% of Nebraska’s children ages 5 and under are overweight or obese, and up to 40% of these children will be obese as adults and at risk for diabetes, heart disease, hypertension and cancer.

Underserved (minorities and low-income) children are at even greater risk of being overweight or obese and experiencing negative consequences. Evidence-based, cross-system early intervention has the potential to improve interactions among health care, family and preschool systems to facilitate healthy eating and activity patterns, thus preventing a negative trajectory of obesity and overweight throughout life. 

This pilot study tests a cross-system intervention (i.e., conjoint behavioral consultation) for addressing overweight and obesity for low-income children aged 3 to 5. Researchers will extend collaborations with current research partners to co-create effective and feasible procedures for recruiting participants, determining appropriate treatment protocols and monitoring effects with this targeted sample. The team will also develop procedures and gather preliminary evidence for producing positive health outcomes for young, underserved children. 

Results will provide data necessary for a large-scale study, and will allow for important stakeholder input on procedures for recruitment; extend relationships with early childhood obesity researchers partnering on NIH grant applications; and procure feasibility data on recruitment, intervention and assessment methods.

Academic Intervention & Learning, Early Education & Development, Psychosocial Development & Social-Emotional Learning

Reseachers studying intervention impacts on early obesity include, from left, Brandy Clarke, Susan Sheridan, Jung-Min Lee and Lorey Wheeler.
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