Feasibility of a family-focused YMCA-based diabetes prevention program in youth: The E.P.I.C. Kids (Encourage, Practice, and Inspire Change) Study

Melanie D. Hingle, Tami Turner, Scott Going, Chris Ussery, Denise J. Roe, Kathylynn Saboda, Randa Kutob, Craig Stump

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Efficacious lifestyle modification programs for children at risk of type 2 diabetes (T2D) have not been well established outside of clinical settings. In this study, the feasibility of a family-focused, YMCA-based prevention program for children at risk of T2D was evaluated between September 2015 and July 2016 in Tucson, Arizona. A 12-week YMCA-led lifestyle intervention was adapted for 9–12-year-old children and their families to encourage healthy eating, physical activity, and supportive home environments. Two YMCA locations were randomized to offer either a face-to-face lifestyle coach-led intervention or an alternating face-to-face and digitally-delivered intervention. Program feasibility and preliminary effects on child anthropometric and behavioral outcomes were assessed at baseline and post-intervention. Changes were assessed using linear regression combining delivery formats, with adjustment for clustering of participants within site/format. Forty-eight children (10.9 ± 1.2 years old; 45% female; 40% Hispanic; 43% White; 87% obese) and their parents enrolled, and 36 (75%) completed 12-week measures. Weekly program attendance averaged 61%. Participants and coaches highly rated program content and engagement strategies. Statistically significant changes in child BMI-z score (−0.05, p = 0.03) and family food and physical activity environment (+5.5% family nutrition and physical activity score, p = 0.01) were observed. A YMCA-led family-focused T2D intervention was feasible for the YMCA and participants and effects on child weight, behavior, and the home environment warranted further investigation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number100840
JournalPreventive Medicine Reports
StatePublished - Jun 2019


  • Diabetes prevention
  • Lifestyle intervention
  • Pediatric obesity
  • Type 2 diabetes mellitus
  • YMCA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Informatics
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


Dive into the research topics of 'Feasibility of a family-focused YMCA-based diabetes prevention program in youth: The E.P.I.C. Kids (Encourage, Practice, and Inspire Change) Study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this