An overview of the Families Improving Together (FIT) for weight loss randomized controlled trial in African American families

Dawn K. Wilson, Heather Kitzman-Ulrich, Ken Resnicow, M. Lee Van Horn, Sara M.St George, E. Rebekah Siceloff, Kassandra A. Alia, Tyler McDaniel, Va Shawn Heatley, Lauren Huffman, Sandra Coulon, Ron Prinz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


Background: The Families Improving Together (FIT) randomized controlled trial tests the efficacy of integrating cultural tailoring, positive parenting, and motivational strategies into a comprehensive curriculum for weight loss in African American adolescents. The overall goal of the FIT trial is to test the effects of an integrated intervention curriculum and the added effects of a tailored web-based intervention on reducing z-BMI in overweight African American adolescents. Design and setting: The FIT trial is a randomized group cohort design the will involve 520 African American families with an overweight adolescent between the ages of 11-16. years. The trial tests the efficacy of an 8-week face-to-face group randomized program comparing M. +. FWL (Motivational Plus Family Weight Loss) to a comprehensive health education program (CHE) and re-randomizes participants to either an 8-week on-line tailored intervention or control on-line program resulting in a 2 (M. +. FWL vs. CHE group). ×. 2 (on-line intervention vs. control on-line program) factorial design to test the effects of the intervention on reducing z-BMI at post-treatment and at 6-month follow-up. Intervention: The interventions for this trial are based on a theoretical framework that is novel and integrates elements from cultural tailoring, Family Systems Theory, Self-Determination Theory and Social Cognitive Theory. The intervention targets positive parenting skills (parenting style, monitoring, communication); cultural values; teaching parents to increase youth motivation by encouraging youth to have input and choice (autonomy-support); and provides a framework for building skills and self-efficacy through developing weight loss action plans that target goal setting, monitoring, and positive feedback.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)145-157
Number of pages13
JournalContemporary Clinical Trials
StatePublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • African Americans
  • Behavioral skills
  • Cultural tailoring
  • Motivational strategies
  • Positive parenting skills
  • Weight loss intervention

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology (medical)


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