Texas Child Obesity Research Demonstration (CORD)

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CORD is a CDC funded project designed to evaluate community-based obesity prevention and treatment programs in Austin and Houston. CORD connects the dots between families, pediatricians, schools and local youth organizations to support children’s healthy eating and active living. If successful, CORD will become a national model for medical and community practice.


Check Resource tab for Next Steps materials: themed follow-up visits for practitioners to help patients achieve a healthy weight.

Despite intensive national efforts to address childhood obesity, the epidemic persists. Recognizing the challenges, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Institute of Medicine (IOM) have called for a systems-oriented approach to address childhood obesity. 

Primary Prevention – Programs designed to prevent obesity
The community-wide intervention implements obesity prevention programs at schools and at local doctors’ clinics.

  • Selected Head Start and AISD & HISD elementary schools will implement CATCH (Coordinated Approach To School Health), a program that promotes children’s physical activity and healthy food choices.
  • In selected clinics pediatricians are trained in the Next Steps program, in which physicians counsel patients and families on healthy behaviors.

Secondary Prevention – Programs designed to prevent disease in high-risk children
Overweight and obese children are screened by a pediatrician and their families are invited to participate in a 12-month family-based weight management program. Community health workers connect local doctors’ offices to MEND program managers.

  • Weekly MEND (Mind, Exercise, Nutrition, and Do it!) classes delivered at local YMCAs. MEND is a 3-month program designed for the entire family that helps overweight children improve their health, fitness and self-esteem.
  • Cellular phone-based social marketing campaign designed to support and reinforce program components among parents and schools, provided in partnership with IT’S TIME TEXAS/ACTIVE Life.
  • The Healthy Kitchen/La Concina Alegre cooking classes developed by the Sustainable Food Center.
  • The Be Well book club.
  • Participation in sports teams at local YMCAs.

Collaborators working on this CDC demonstration project include: The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) School of Public Health, Baylor College of Medicine’s Children’s Nutrition Research Center, MEND, Texas Children’s Hospital, the Texas Center for the Prevention and Treatment of Childhood Obesity at Dell Children’s Medical Center, Texas Department of State Health Services, the YMCA, IT’S TIME TEXAS/ACTIVE Life, the Sustainable Foods Center and CATCH.


Collaborators

Thumbnail image for Next Steps Flip Chart (Spanish)

Next Steps Flip Chart (Spanish)

Next Steps Flip Chart (Spanish) Next Steps Flip Chart (Español)

Thumbnail image for Next Steps Poster of Themes (English/Spanish)

Next Steps Poster of Themes (English/Spanish)

Next Steps Poster of Themes (English/Spanish). Next Steps Poster of Themes (Ingles/Español) Part of Next Steps materials.

Thumbnail image for Next Steps Home Activity Book (Spanish)

Next Steps Home Activity Book (Spanish)

Next Steps Home Activity Book (Spanish) Next Steps Home Activity Book (Español)

Thumbnail image for Next Steps Home Activity Book

Next Steps Home Activity Book

Next Steps Home Activity Book. Part of Next Steps materials.

Thumbnail image for Training on Measuring Heights & Weights

Training on Measuring Heights & Weights

6/12/13 - In this video we demonstrate the proper protocol for conducting height and weight measurements.

Thumbnail image for CATCH in IOM report on Accelerating Progress in Obesity Prevention

CATCH in IOM report on Accelerating Progress in Obesity Prevention

5/1/12 - This excerpt from the 2012 Institute of Medicine report on Accelerating Progress in Obesity Prevention discusses the evidence base for the CATCH program.

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"Eat Smart" con CATCH

4/2/10 - Conoces tus alimentos GO - SLOW - WHOA?

Thumbnail image for Eat Smart with CATCH

Eat Smart with CATCH

4/2/10 - Do you know your GO, SLOW, WHOA foods? This presentation can be used to help teachers, parents, and students learn about the CATCH program's GO, SLOW, WHOA stoplight system for categorizing foods.

Thumbnail image for Your Elementary School and the CATCH Program

Your Elementary School and the CATCH Program

4/1/10 - Learn about the key components of the CATCH elementary school program with this handout.

Thumbnail image for CATCH Healthy Habits at Home

CATCH Healthy Habits at Home

4/1/10 - This handout contains simple steps that will add up to a big difference in your family’s health. Be a CATCH MVP and select one or two new habits that are best suited for you and your family!

Thumbnail image for Escuelas Primarias de AISD y el Programa CATCH

Escuelas Primarias de AISD y el Programa CATCH

4/1/10 - Aprenda sobre los componentes clave del programa de la escuela primaria CATCH con este folleto.

Thumbnail image for CATCH Your Students At Their Best

CATCH Your Students At Their Best

4/1/10 - This flyer for parents includes healthy tips from the CATCH program.

Behavior modification of diet and parent feeding practices in a community vs. primary care-centered intervention for childhood obesity: TX CORD RCT

(Wilson TA, Liu Y, Adolph AL, Sacher PM, Barlow SE, Pont S, Sharma S, Byrd-Williams C, Hoelscher DM, Butte NF; J Nutr Educ Behav.; 2018)

Predictors of Severe Obesity in Low-Income, Predominantly Hispanic/Latino Children: The Texas Childhood Obesity Research Demonstration Study

(Salahuddin M, Pérez A, Ranjit N, Kelder SH, Barlow SE, Pont SJ, Butte NF, Hoelscher DM; Preventing Chronic Disease; 2017)

Best practices and barriers to obesity prevention in Head Start: Baseline differences in director and teacher perceptions from the TX CORD Study

(Byrd-Williams CE, Dooley EE, Sharma SV, Chuang RJ, Butte NF, Hoelscher DM; Preventing Chronic Disease; Dec 2017)

Efficacy of a Community- Versus Primary Care-Centered Program for Childhood Obesity: TX CORD RCT

(Butte NF, Hoelscher DM, Barlow SE, Pont S, Durand C, Vandewater EA, Liu Y, Adolph AL, Pérez A, Wilson TA, Gonzalez A, Puyau MR, Sharma SV, Byrd-Williams C, Oluyomi A, Huang T, Finkelstein EA, Sacher PM, Kelder SH; Obesity (Silver Spring); 2017)

Efficacy of a Community- vs. Primary Care-Centered Program for Childhood Obesity: TX CORD RCT

(Butte, N.F., Hoelscher, D.M., Barlow, S.E., Pont, S., Durand, C, Vandewater, E.A., Liu,Y., Adolph, A.L., Pérez, A., Wilson, T.A., Gonzalez, A., Puyau, M.R., Sharma, S.V., Byrd-Williams, C., Oluyomi, A., Huang, T., Finkelstein, E.A., Sacher, P., Kelder, S.H; Forthcoming Obesity; 2017)

Incorporating primary and secondary prevention approaches to address childhood obesity prevention and treatment in a low-income, ethnically diverse population: Study design and demographic data from the Texas TX CORD Study

(Hoelscher DM, Butte NF, Barlow S, Vandewater EA, Sharma SV, Huang T, Finkelstein E, Pont S, Sacher P, Byrd-Williams C, Oluyomi AO, Durand C, Li L, Kelder SH; Childhood Obesity; 2015)

Photo of Courtney Byrd-Williams

Courtney Byrd-Williams, PhD

Principal Investigator, Texas Mother-Friendly Worksite; Director, Maternal and Child Health Training Program Photo of Alejandra Gonzalez

Alejandra Gonzalez

Assistant Project Director, Texas SNAP-Ed Evaluation Photo of Deanna Hoelscher

Deanna Hoelscher, PhD, RDN, LD, CNS, FISBNPA

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CORD Project: Implementing Strategies Across the Community to Help Families with Childhood Obesity

In 2011, with funds from the Affordable Care Act, CDC provided funding to 4 grantees to conduct a 4-year Childhood Obesity Research Demonstration (CORD) project, which aims to improve children’s nutrition and physical activity behaviors in the places where they live, learn, and play.