Annals of Behavioral Medicine

, Volume 43, Issue 1, pp 84–100 | Cite as

Results of a Multi-level Intervention to Prevent and Control Childhood Obesity among Latino Children: The Aventuras Para Niños Study

  • Noe C. Crespo
  • John P. Elder
  • Guadalupe X. Ayala
  • Donald J. Slymen
  • Nadia R. Campbell
  • James F. Sallis
  • Thomas L. McKenzie
  • Barbara Baquero
  • Elva M. Arredondo
Original Article



Community-based interventions are needed to reduce the burden of childhood obesity.


To evaluate the impact of a multi-level promotora-based (Community Health Advisor) intervention to promote healthy eating and physical activity and prevent excess weight gain among Latino children.


Thirteen elementary schools were randomized to one of four intervention conditions: individual/family level (Family-only), school/community level (Community-only), combined (Family + Community), or a measurement-only condition. Participants were 808 Latino parents and their children enrolled in kindergarten through 2nd grade. Measures included parent and child body mass index (BMI) and a self-administered parent survey that assessed several parent and child behaviors.


There were no significant intervention effects on children’s BMI z-score. The family intervention changed several obesity-related child behaviors (e.g., fruit/vegetable consumption) and these were mediated by changes in parenting variables (e.g., parent monitoring).


A promotora-based behavioral intervention was efficacious at changing parental factors and child obesity-related health behaviors.


Childhood obesity Latino Diet Physical activity 



The Aventuras para Niños study was funded by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (5R01HL073776). Additional support was provided to Dr. Elder and Dr. Ayala by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (5U48DP000036), to Dr. Ayala by the American Cancer Society (RSGPB 113653), to Dr. Arredondo by the American Cancer Society (PFT-04-156-01), and to Dr. Crespo by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (F31DK079345) and the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (T32HL079891).

Conflict of Interest Statement

The authors have no conflicts of interest to disclose.


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Copyright information

© The Society of Behavioral Medicine 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Noe C. Crespo
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • John P. Elder
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Guadalupe X. Ayala
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Donald J. Slymen
    • 1
  • Nadia R. Campbell
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • James F. Sallis
    • 4
  • Thomas L. McKenzie
    • 5
  • Barbara Baquero
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    • 6
  • Elva M. Arredondo
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.Graduate School of Public Health, San Diego State UniversitySan DiegoUSA
  2. 2.Institute for Behavioral and Community Health Studies (IBACH) San Diego State UniversitySan DiegoUSA
  3. 3.San Diego State University Research FoundationSan DiegoUSA
  4. 4.Department of PsychologySan Diego State UniversitySan DiegoUSA
  5. 5.School of Exercise and Nutritional SciencesSan Diego State UniversitySan DiegoUSA
  6. 6.Health Behavior and Health EducationUniversity of North Carolina, Gillings School of Global Public HealthChapel HillUSA

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