Building Healthy Families


Federal data shows that about one in five American children are classified as obese. Some of the most effective pediatric health interventions are delivered by exercise science researchers, and are specifically tailored to local populations. But they are difficult to scale to other communities whose residents could benefit from these programs.


Translate an existing federally-funded childhood obesity intervention program, Building Healthy Families, into a digital training solution with data collection and dissemination capabilities, enabling organizations like schools and health care clinics to implement custom intervention programs tailored to their communities’ unique needs.


To expand the reach of a successful in-person childhood obesity intervention program, Trifoia partnered with Dr. Kate Heelan and a team of University of Nebraska Kearney (UNK) researchers from the school’s Physical Activity and Wellness Lab, as well as Dr. Jennie Hill of the University of Nebraska Medical Center.

Trifoia project managers and instructional designers met with Heelan’s team to start adapting the 12-week program’s key behavioral insights, diet and activity modifications into an eLearning course with scalable training components. After initial consultations, the project manager oversaw the Trifoia production team’s review of the Building Healthy Families materials.

The instructional designer and software developers converted printed literature about lifestyle modification, weight loss, stimulus control, and goal setting into scripts for a digital solution that instructors outside the university could administer. The site enables the trainers to collect data from users and track their progress while delivering knowledge tests to children and their families in the form of quizzes.

Chart showing the dataportal database information flow for Building Healthy Families

The ability to securely transmit data through the back end of the Building Healthy Families website ensures HIPAA compliance, while still giving local trainers access to all of the patient health information they need to customize their health interventions.

The end result is a user-friendly online version of Building Healthy Families, with interactive multimedia platforms, videos, animation, and knowledge tests, all deliverable outside of a university setting to children aged 6-12 and their families.