Successful Virtual Delivery of a Group Childhood Healthy Weight Program

Sarah E. Barlow, Anna Lorenzi, Aleksei Reid, Rong Huang, Priya Garigipati, Sarah E. Messiah

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Get Up & Go program, an established effective 10-week healthy weight program for children ages 6-14 years provided free to families, has offered the option of a synchronous virtual delivery. Pre- and postassessments include a parental questionnaire about child's health behaviors, and weight and height measurements of children. Over 3 cycles, 116 and 107 families registered for virtual and in-person delivery, respectively, with 70 (60.3%) and 84 (78.5%) attending ≥1 session (p = 0.003). More families in virtual delivery spoke Spanish (41.4% vs. 22.6%, p = 0.01), but children did not differ in age, gender, and severe obesity status, and baseline behavior scores and graduation rates were similar. Improvement from baseline in BMIp95 was -3.71 [standard deviation (SD) 5.26] for virtual delivery and -1.95 (3.69) (p = 0.06) for in-person. Behavior questionnaire improvement [+15.9 (12.9) vs. +14.2 (12.0), p = 0.51] did not differ. The virtual implementation demonstrated good effect and may be useful in nonpandemic environments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)576-578
Number of pages3
JournalChildhood Obesity
Issue number8
StatePublished - Dec 1 2022


  • behavioral intervention
  • bilingual intervention
  • community intervention
  • family intervention
  • synchronous group virtual health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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