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Making Parents Agents of Change for Healthier Families

Do you work with children who need support with weight management? Start with mom and dad! 

Based on several years of research conducted at the University of Alberta and the Stollery Children’s Hospital in Edmonton, AB, a newly tested, evidence-based lifestyle intervention is now available for healthcare professionals working in the field of pediatric weight management. 

Parents as Agents of Change© (PAC) is a 16-session intervention designed for parents of 6 to 12 year olds with obesity. Based on principles of cognitive behavioural therapy and up-to-date research in children’s nutrition and physical activity, PAC was developed to help parents learn about and implement strategies to enable healthier living for the whole family. More than 250 families have completed the 16-session intervention since 2010, and over 95% of parents said they would recommend PAC to other families. 

Here’s what some parents had to say about their PAC experience:

"It was great for providing small-step strategies and ideas for families ready to change their lifestyle habits"

"It was nice to have discussions with other families. I learned a lot and it gave me helpful ideas."

"I think all families would benefit from this program."   


All program materials, including leader manuals, parent resources and a how-to on delivering PAC, are available for a licensing fee so that you can offer PAC in your local area. 

Over the past few years, several PAC-related papers have been published, including:

Ball GD, Mushquash AR, Keaschuk RA, Ambler KA, Newton AS. Using Intervention Mapping to develop the Parents as Agents of Change (PAC©) intervention for managing pediatric obesity. BMC Research Notes. 2017 Jan 13;10(1):43. 

doi: 10.1186/s13104-016-2361-3.

PMID: 28086848

 

Holt NL, Neely KC, Newton AS, Knight CJ, Rasquinha A, Ambler KA, Spence JC, Ball GD. Families' perceptions of and experiences related to a pediatric weight management intervention: A qualitative study. Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior. 2015 Sep-Oct;47(5):427-31.e1. 

doi: 10.1016/j.jneb.2015.05.002. Epub 2015 Jul 2.

PMID: 26145758

 

Ball GD, Ambler KA, Keaschuk RA, Rosychuk RJ, Holt NL, Spence JC, Jetha MM, Sharma AM, Newton AS. Parents as agents of change (PAC) in pediatric weight management: the protocol for the PAC randomized clinical trial. BMC Pediatrics. 2012 Aug 6;12:114. 

doi: 10.1186/1471-2431-12-114. 

PMID: 22866998

 

For more information about PAC, please contact Dr. Geoff Ball at gdball[at]ualberta.ca.