Document Type


Publication Date


Date of Final Presentation


Committee Chair

Dr. Pamela Strohfus

Committee Member

Dr. Karen Godard

Coordinator/ Chair of DNP Program

Dr. Pamela Strohfus

Abstract/ Executive Summary

Problem and Background: Childhood obesity has doubled in children and quadrupled in adolescents in the past 3 decades, increasing from 5% to 17% in one generation. The highest rates of childhood obesity are among Mexican Americans. Obesity can increase health morbidities, and as obese children continue to grow, these health concerns progress to adulthood. In spite of enhanced education and communication between mothers of obese children and their primary care providers, minimal improvement has taken place in terms of outcomes and lifestyle changes.

Methods: Fourteen obese Hispanic 2- to 5-year-olds and their mothers participated in the study. The children’s BMIs were evaluated at baseline and at project end. Mothers completed a brief survey at baseline and at project end. Education modules on four interventions were provided to the mothers once the pre-survey was completed. The following interventions were implemented over a 3-month period after education was provided: (a) 11 hours of nightly sleep; (b) 1 hour of activity daily; (c) no more than 2 hours of screen time daily; and (d) no more than four fast food meals a month. Daily calendar logs were provided to the mothers to track the interventions.

Results: Results validate that evidence-based interventions reduce obesity in the Tri-Cities area of southeastern Washington. Specifically, 36% of child participants’ BMI decreased, and 80% increased their nightly sleep (p = 0.007). Additionally, results showed that 64% of participants increased nightly sleep, 36% increased minutes of daily exercise, 28% decreased daily screen time, and 7% decreased fast food consumption.

Conclusion: It is important that medical providers identify the mothers of obese preschoolers’ educational need for guidance and interventions to decrease and prevent obesity. Increased maternal awareness and daily evidence-based intervention monitoring both demonstrate decreased BMI in conjunction with increased nightly sleep, increased physical activity, and decreased TV screen time. The project results show that obesity is more than a food consumption issue; it is a multifactorial problem that improves with a healthy lifestyle.