Challenge! health promotion/obesity prevention mentorship model among urban, black adolescents

Maureen M. Black, Erin R. Hager, Katherine Le, Jean Anliker, S. Sonia Arteaga, Carlo DiClemente, Joel Gittelsohn, Laurence Magder, Mia Papas, Soren Snitker, Margarita S. Treuth, Yan Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

93 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVES: The objective of this study was to evaluate a 12-session home/community-based health promotion/obesity prevention program (Challenge!) on changes in BMI status, body composition, physical activity, and diet. METHODS: A total of 235 black adolescents (aged 11-16 years; 38% overweight/obese) were recruited from low-income urban communities. Baseline measures included weight, height, body composition, physical activity (PA), and diet. PA was measured by 7-day play-equivalent physical activity (≥1800 activity counts per minute). Participants were randomly assigned to health promotion/obesity prevention that is anchored in social cognitive theory and motivational interviewing and was delivered by college-aged black mentors or to control. Postintervention (11 months) and delayed follow-up (24 months) evaluations were conducted. Longitudinal analyses used multilevel models with random intercepts and generalized estimating equations, controlling for baseline age/gender. Stratified analyses examined baseline BMI category. RESULTS: Retention was 76% over 2 years; overweight/obese status declined 5% among intervention adolescents and increased 11% among control adolescents. Among overweight/obese youth, the intervention reduced total percentage of body fat and fat mass and increased fat-free mass at delayed follow-up and increased play-equivalent physical activity at postintervention but not at delayed follow-up. Intervention adolescents declined significantly more in snack/dessert consumption than control adolescents at both follow-up evaluations. CONCLUSIONS: At postintervention, there were intervention effects on diet and PA but not BMI category or body composition. At delayed followup, dietary changes were sustained and the intervention prevented an increase in BMI category. Body composition was improved for overweight/obese youth. Changes in body composition follow changes in diet and PA and may not be detected immediately after intervention.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)280-288
Number of pages9
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 2010


  • Adolescence
  • Adolescent obesity prevention
  • Black
  • Controlled trial
  • Diet
  • Intervention
  • Mentor
  • Overweight
  • Physical activity
  • Randomized

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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