Childhood obesity is a national epidemic with serious medical and psychological implications. Almost one-fourth of children in the United States are overweight. Children do not typically grow out of obesity and without intervention the majority of overweight children become overweight adults. Further, childhood obesity results in numerous chronic medical conditions. Thus, the prevention and treatment of childhood obesity are paramount to the avoidance of resultant physical and psychological risk factors. Loma Linda University’s Growing Fit Program seeks to serve the critical and urgent needs of the ever-increasing population of obese children with a multi-disciplinary approach to pediatric weight management. Evaluating the outcomes of the children who attend Growing Fit is vital due to the current controversies surrounding the dubious impact of interventions for obese children. This study found that while controlling for BMI at intake, the BMI at time 2 was accounted for by the number of months since participation in the program, but not by the number of months of participation in the program, nor by time 2 psychosocial variables (i.e., depression, self-concept, behavior). The number of sessions of participation in the counseling component was shown to moderate the relationship between psychosocial scores from time 1 and time 2, with questionable results regarding the relationship of the social problems scores. Overall, psychosocial scores tended to improve from time 1 to time 2 when children attended more counseling sessions. Additionally, children were found to have difficulty continuing and maintaining their weight loss and healthy behaviors as more time elapses from the time of their participation in Growing Fit. Implications of these findings and directions for future research are discussed.

LLU Discipline





Graduate School

First Advisor

Kiti Freier

Second Advisor

Matt Riggs

Third Advisor

Larry Yin

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Degree Level


Year Degree Awarded


Date (Title Page)




Library of Congress/MESH Subject Headings

Obesity -- in infancy & childhood; Early Intervention (Education); Child Health Services -- education.



Page Count

x; 84

Digital Format


Digital Publisher

Loma Linda University Libraries

Usage Rights

This title appears here courtesy of the author, who has granted Loma Linda University a limited, non-exclusive right to make this publication available to the public. The author retains all other copyrights.


Loma Linda University Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Collection Website



Loma Linda University. Del E. Webb Memorial Library. University Archives