A Review of Promising Multicomponent Environmental Child Obesity Prevention Intervention Strategies by the Children’s Healthy Living Program


Childhood obesity has increased rapidly over the last three decades in the U.S. Individual-level interventions targeting healthy eating and physical activity have not significantly impacted clinical measures of obesity in children. Focusing “upstream” on physical, social, cultural, political, and economic environments may be more effective. The purpose of this qualitative review is to analyze published environmental interventions that effectively prevented or reduced obesity in children ages 2–10 years by working within their family, school, and/or community environment to increase physical activity, reduce sedentary behaviors, or improve healthy diet. Through an electronic database search, 590 original articles were identified and 33 were read in full. Using Brennan and co-authors’ (2011) rating system, 18 were rated as effective intervention studies. This analysis showed that interventions targeting multiple environments (e.g., family, school, and community) show promise in reducing childhood obesity. Further research is needed to test interventions targeting multiple environments in different communities and populations.

Speaker / Author: 
Claudio R. Nigg, PhD
Md Mahabub Ul Anwar, PhD
Kathryn L. Braun, DrPH
Jobel Mercado, MA
Marie Kainoa Fialkowski, RDN, LDN, PhD
Aufa’I Apulu Ropeti Areta, MS
Tayna Belyeu-Camacho
Andrea Bersamin, PhD
Rachael Leon Guerrero, PhD
Rose Castrom, Barbara DeBaryshe, PhD, Agnes M. Vargo, MS, Micah Van der Ryn, PhD, Katherine W. Braden, MPH, and Rachel Novotny, RDN, LDN, PhD
Month Year: 
October 2016
Page #: 
Publication Month: 
October 2016