Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Dietetics Administration (MDA)


Nutrition, Dietetics, and Food Sciences

Committee Chair(s)

Marlene Israelsen


Heidi Wengreen


Tamara Steinitz


Childhood overweight and obesity is a growing problem across America. Public health interventions are needed to help address this problem. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness and outcomes of the Utah County Fit WIC Program – which was initiated to address the needs of children who are overweight or at-risk of overweight based on Body Mass Index (BMI)-for-age.

Data was collected over the course of one year to examine associations between discussion of child’s weight and goal setting with parent(s)/caregiver(s) and changes in participants’ (n=167) BMI-for-age. The mean BMI-for-age decreased for participants studied across a one year period, measuring -4.50 at six months, and -3.55 at one year (p=0.000 at both intervals). Participants who were initially identified as being at-risk of overweight at their initial examination had a larger change in BMI-for-age over six months and one year than those initially assessed as overweight. Discussing a child’s weight and setting goals was not found to be significantly correlated with change in BMI percentile. No significant difference in BMI-for-age or change in BMI-for-age was observed based on ethnicity (Hispanic or non-Hispanic) or gender. Despite this, the Utah County Fit WIC Program was found to be successful in decreasing mean BMI-for-age over time for participants.

In summary, while the results of this study did not show differences between the intervention and non-intervention groups that were statistically significant, there was still a downward trend in overall BMI-for-age measurements for participants in the Utah County Fit WIC Program. This is a positive outcome. With continued improvement, it is expected that this program and other similar programs will be beneficial in terms of childhood weight management.


This work made publicly available electronically on March 19, 2012.