Lifestyle intervention programs for adults at high-risk for type 2 diabetes: A platform to reach high-risk children?

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Introduction: Children of adults eligible for the National Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) lifestyle intervention may themselves be high risk for type 2 diabetes development, and high-risk children may be reached through programs that target high-risk adults. To understand the potential multigenerational impact of family-oriented diabetes prevention programming, we explored the correlation between parental eligibility for the National DPP program and child weight status by using nationally representative data. Methods: We analyzed data from the National Health Interview Survey from 2016 and 2017, focusing on children ages 12 through 17 years of age for whom body mass index (BMI) data were available and who could be linked to 1 sample parent. We explored the association between parent and child weight status and parental DPP eligibility and child weight status using χ2 analyses. Results: Our final sample consisted of 3,905 (unweighted) children, linked to either a mother or father. A total of 25.8% of children were overweight or obese; 68.1% of linked parents were overweight or obese, and child and parent weight status were correlated (Pearson’s χ2, P < .001). A total of 9.5% of parents were likely eligible to participate in the National DPP. Parental program eligibility was positively correlated with child overweight/obese status (χ2, P < .001); over one-third of children with eligible parents were themselves overweight/obese. Discussion: In this nationally representative sample, parental BMI and child BMI categories were positively correlated, as was parental eligibility for diabetes prevention programming and child BMI. This highlights the potential of leveraging the national platform for adult diabetes prevention to reach high-risk children through family-oriented programming.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)596-600
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of the American Board of Family Medicine
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2019


  • Body Mass Index
  • Chronic Disease
  • Overweight
  • Parents
  • Pediatric Obesity
  • Prediabetic State
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Family Practice


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