Koa Family: California's Obesity Prevention Project

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"This study hopes to learn if a new whole health program improves the health of low-income mothers."
Age: 18 to 47 years old
Healthy Volunteers: Yes
Keywords: obesity, overweight, physical activity, diet habit, weight loss
Type: Behavioral study
190 Participants
The purpose of this study is to learn if a new whole health program improves the health of low-income mothers.

To be eligible for this study, you must be a woman between the ages of 18 and 47. You must be comfortable speaking and reading English and be a mother (or caregiver) whose youngest child is between the ages of 3 and 17.

You also must live in a low-income household (at or below 185% of the Federal Poverty Level), live in the Mack Road neighborhood of Sacramento or the City of Woodland, and have a cell phone that can receive text messages.
This study requires

If you join this study and are overweight or obese, you will be randomized into one of the two study groups described below. If you join this study and are normal weight, you will be assigned to the intervention group.

Intervention study group: If you are assigned to the intervention group, you will take part in a 6-month whole health program starting in August 2019. You will meet once a week with 8 to 10 women who are also in the study. There will be 22 weekly meetings, each lasting about 90 minutes. Each weekly meeting will cover a topic on whole-person living, such as healthy eating, physical activity, reducing stress, and well-being. Throughout the study, you will receive brief text messages on your cell phone meant to encourage healthy lifestyle choices. You will also have an opportunity to take part in a neighborhood tree planting campaign.

Control study group: If you are assigned to the control group, you will receive an effective intervention after the 12-month study ends. The intervention will be based on what we learn from the study.

All participants will complete five in-person questionnaires: once at the start of the study, then at 3 months, 6 months, 9 months, and 12 months. It will take about 75 minutes to complete each questionnaire. Questions will cover your diet, physical activity, general health, health-related behavior, and well-being. Each time you complete a questionnaire, study staff will also record your weight and height in private.

Who can participate

Inclusion criteria:

  • Comfortable speaking and reading English
  • Mother (or primary caregiver) whose youngest child living at home is 3-17 years old
  • Living in a low-income household (at or below 185% of the Federal Poverty Level)
  • Living in the Mack Road neighborhood of Sacramento or the City of Woodland (zip codes: 95823, 95695, and 95776)
  • Ability to receive and send text messages
  • Normal weight, overweight, or obese

Exclusion criteria:

  • Pregnant
  • Breastfeeding
  • Within 2 years postpartum
  • Life-threatening illness
  • Institutionalization (i.e., not free-living in the community)
  • Moderate to severe mental illness
  • Receiving nutrition therapy from a health or health care provider (licensed or unlicensed)
  • Had or are considering bariatric surgery
  • Medically diagnosed eating disorder
  • Taking medication that affects weight
  • Thyroid disease
  • Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes without medical clearance from the participant's physician
  • Plans to move away from study site catchment area during the one-year study period
Benefits and risks of participating

We cannot promise any benefits to you as a result of taking part in this research study.


The study coordinator will discuss the risks associated with taking part in this research study.
Participants will receive a Target gift card each time they complete the study questionnaires and have their height and weight measured. Participants who complete all 5 study visits will earn gift cards totaling $200.
Study duration and period
This study will start July 2019 and last for about 12 months.
Recruitment period
From June 29, 2018
Research Topic
  • Weight Loss
  • Diet Habit
  • Physical Activity
  • Overweight and Obesity

Have any questions or want to learn more? Leave your contact details below and the research team will reach out to you.


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