Conjoint Behavioral Consultation: A Cross-Systemic Intervention to Manage Overweight and Obesity for Low Income Preschoolers

Project Information

Principal Investigator: Brandy Clarke
Co-Principal Investigator: Susan Sheridan
Funding Agency: ORED - Biomedical Research Seed Grant
Award Date:
Theme: Early Childhood, Families & Schools
Project URL: N/A

For more information please contact Brandy Clarke at


One in four U.S. children between 2–5 years old is overweight or obese. Currently, 30.5 percent of Nebraska’s children ages five and under are overweight or obese, and up to 40 percent of these children will be obese as adults and at risk for diabetes, heart disease, hypertension and cancer. Underserved (minorities and low-income) children are at even greater risk of being overweight or obese and experiencing negative consequences. Evidence-based, cross-system early intervention has the potential to improve interactions among health care, family and preschool systems to facilitate healthy eating and activity patterns, thus preventing a negative trajectory of obesity and overweight throughout life.

The proposed study will test a cross-system intervention (i.e., conjoint behavioral consultation) for addressing overweight and obesity for low-income children aged three to five years. The funding will assist us in extending collaborations with current research partners to co-create effective and feasible procedures for recruiting participants, determining appropriate treatment protocols and monitoring effects with this targeted sample. We will develop procedures and gather preliminary evidence for producing positive health outcomes for young, underserved children.

Results from this small pilot will provide data necessary for a large-scale R01 to be submitted to the National Institutes of Health at the study’s completion. It will also allow for important stakeholder input on procedures for recruitment; extend relationships with early childhood obesity researchers partnering on NIH grant applications; and procure feasibility data on recruitment, intervention and assessment methods necessary for the R01 mechanism.