The Community United to Raise Awareness: Asthma and Active Living.
Chicago has some of the highest reported rates of pediatric asthma and obesity in the United States, especially in African-American and Latino children. These concurrent trends are not coincidental—the two diseases are linked immunologically and behaviorally. Behavioral interventions have shown moderate success with asthma control while the prevention or reduction of obesity has been much more challenging. The strong causal links between asthma and obesity and the limited effectiveness of previous interventions suggest that in children with both conditions, targeting them simultaneously might lead to greater success.
This project aims to develop an intervention that effectively targets comorbid asthma and obesity. An individual-level intervention is proposed that will have a strong self-management skills development component and will be tailored to the specific needs of each family. Additionally, a community-level intervention will be conducted in the schools and will work to create a supportive and educational environment aimed at better disease management. Psychological stressors and resulting distress will also be measured to explore the connections between stress, obesity, and asthma. This project will provide pilot data on necessary components, feasibility, and effect size to inform future interventions. The project works with community organizations and schools to ensure appropriateness and sustainability.