The Children’s Health and Activity Modification Program (C.H.A.M.P.): Exploring the Impact of a 4-week Lifestyle Intervention on Obese Children and Their Families
C.H.A.M.P., a 4-week day camp for obese children aged 8-14, was held during August 2008. The program included daily physical activity, dietary, and behavioural modification for children, and similarly-themed educational sessions for family members on weekends. The purpose of the present study was to explore the experiences of children and family members who participated in C.H.A.M.P.. Methods: This qualitative study enlisted a trained facilitator to moderate five focus groups immediately following the intervention. Children (n = 12) were allocated to 1 of 2 groups; parents (n = 17) were allocated to 1 of 3 groups. Following a semi-structured interview guide, each session was digitally recorded, transcribed verbatim, and analyzed using inductive content analysis. Results: Preliminary analysis revealed that children enjoyed participating in physical activities progressively and felt that it got easier over time. Children reported that they felt more confident in themselves and their ability to try new activities; using positive self-talk and involving their families in healthy change were emphasized. Dietary themes for children included the importance of eating balanced meals, monitoring serving sizes, and moderation. Parents reported increased confidence in parenting skills, and greater awareness of their influence on family members. Goal setting, trust, and empowerment of children in decision making were also emphasized by parents. Conclusion: This pilot study offers unique insight into the perspectives of obese children and their families. Overall, the program was well-received and impacted participants positively. Results will be discussed in terms of their implications for continued program development and future implementation.
Erin Pearson is a doctoral student in the Health and Rehabilitation Sciences Program at the University of Western Ontario. Erin's research interests lie in the areas of health and exercise psychology, as well as the promotion of physical activity in sedentary populations. Currently, Erin's doctoral research focuses on health and wellness pertaining specifically to obesity, behaviour modification, and the use of Motivational Interviewing and Co-Active Life Coaching as health promotion tools. Erin is the Program Coordinator for the Children's Health and Activity Modification Program (C.H.A.M.P.), a group-based lifestyle intervention for obese children at risk for type II diabetes and their families.
Erin S. Pearson, Shauna M. Burke, and Jennifer D. Irwin. "The Children’s Health and Activity Modification Program (C.H.A.M.P.): Exploring the Impact of a 4-week Lifestyle Intervention on Obese Children and Their Families" Health over the Life Course Conference. The University of Western Ontario, London, ON, Canada. Oct. 2009.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/jenniferirwin/22