Principal Investigators: Elaine A. Borawski, PhD, Shirley S. Moore, PhD (Co-PIs)
IMPACT is a three-year intervention program working with Cleveland families to improve their health with a focus on nutrition, physical activity, stress and sleep.
Over two years of recruitment (2012-2014), a total of 360 overweight or obese sixth grade students from Cleveland and at least one parent or guardian agreed to participate in the study. The families were randomly assigned to one of three intervention approaches: SystemCHANGE, HealthyCHANGE, and Tools 4 Change (control).
Family interventions are conducted over three years, with assessments conducted at baseline and 12, 24, and 36 months after randomization to measure a host of variables related to the individual (anthropometrics, biomarkers, surveys, etc.), family, school, and neighborhood. Approximately half of the youth are also enrolled in a school that participates in the We Run This City Youth Marathon Program, a study-enriched YMCA-sponsored school fitness program that encourages physical activity in urban youth, with IMPACT navigators supporting students, coaches, and the teams.
The primary aim of the study is to compare the effects of the two family-based behavioral interventions on the change in BMI over the 36-month intervention period and to assess the additive value of an enriched school environment (participation in the WRTC program).
What Makes the IMPACT Study Unique?
Most trials of interventions to prevent or treat childhood obesity have shown limited effectiveness. The IMPACT study’s multi-level approach takes into account the numerous factors contributing to childhood obesity and the probable complex interventions needed to help children obtain and maintain healthy weights.
Several features were built into the IMPACT project that we believe will improve its effectiveness over past studies of obesity management within this vulnerable population. These features are:
• Strong community engagement (Cleveland Metropolitan School District involvement, YMCA programming)
• Extensive formative work (separate focus groups with children and parents, a one-year pilot test of the family-level interventions and study recruitment procedures)
• Use of a responsive intervention to allow individualization and future replication of the interventions
• Test of a novel approach to behavior change (SystemCHANGE)
• Strong consideration of environmental variables (home, school and neighborhood food environments, peer norms surrounding nutrition and physical activity)
This design not only draws upon recent literature regarding best practices to achieve behavior change for weight management in children but also accounts for the unique circumstances of our population, making the IMPACT study both an effectiveness and an efficacy trial.
To hear more about the IMPACT study, watch the video below!