Condition category
Nutritional, Metabolic, Endocrine
Date applied
Date assigned
Last edited
Retrospectively registered
Overall trial status
Recruitment status
No longer recruiting
Publication status

Plain English Summary

Background and study aims
Childhood obesity is a growing concern. Body mass index is a measurement of body fat based on height and weight. iCook 4-H follows a multifaceted family intervention model to approach childhood obesity prevention from three distinct, yet complementary, perspectives: cooking together, eating together, and playing together. At the core of iCook 4-H’s mission is its innovative concept of bringing parents and children together to work toward a healthier lifestyle as a team. In its curriculum, the program uses Social Cognitive Theory, a learn by watching model, and the Experiential 4-H Learning Model, centered around a trifecta of doing, reflecting, and applying. Existing 4-H curricula, including Fast Foods and Youth in Motion, were adapted and utilized as resources for the program. Children are introduced to basic knife skills, recipe following, family play time opportunities, and the importance of family meals in their daily routine. Additionally, participants learn how to create well-balanced meals. Parents gain valuable information about meal planning and preparation to promote healthy and more frequent family meals. Altogether, iCook 4-H is a 5-year project for a dyad (parent-child) model. The aim of this study is to positively impact the body mass index score of children through education and training.

Who can participate?
Youth aged 9 to 10 years old and their adult primary meal preparer.

What does the study involve?
Participants are randomly allocated to one of two groups. Those in first group engage in classes that are designed to increase competency in cooking skills, family meal times, and physical activity. Those in the second group receive no education or training. Measurements, including child body mass index and adult and child surveys, are assessed at the start and at four, 12, and 24 months after completing the study.

What are the possible benefits and risks of participating?
Benefits to participating in the study: both children and adults will gain knowledge and experience to improve culinary skills, child feeding practices, family meal times, and physical activity. Participation in this study will help to assist in creating healthier habits and environment for children. Potential to improve culinary skills and family time as well as the prevention of weight gain and chronic disease. There are some risks in learning to use culinary tools, but part of the skills are to learn how to use these tools safely and can be used for a lifetime of healthy meal preparation.

Where is the study run from?
This study is being run by the West Virginia University (USA) and takes place in Universities in the USA.

When is the study starting and how long is it expected to run for?
July 2012 to July 2018

Who is funding the study?
U.S. Department of Agriculture (USA)

Who is the main contact?
Dr Melissa Olfert

Trial website

Contact information



Primary contact

Dr Melissa Olfert


Contact details

West Virginia University
Lifestyle Intervention Olfert Research Lab
G25 Agricultural Sciences Building
333 Evansdale Drive
United States of America

Additional identifiers

EudraCT number number

Protocol/serial number


Study information

Scientific title

iCOOK: A 4-H program to promote culinary skills and family meals for obesity prevention


Study hypothesis

A 24-month intervention study, based on building foundational skills for competency in culinary skills, family meal times, and physical activity, will positively impact the body mass index (BMI) Z scores of children compared to a control condition at 4, 12, and 24 months.

Ethics approval

The Internal Review Board at West Virginia University, 01/02/2011, ref: 1305044336R003

Study design

A multi-site randomised controlled interventional study

Primary study design


Secondary study design

Randomised controlled trial

Trial setting


Trial type


Patient information sheet

No participant information sheet available.


Childhood obesity prevention


9-10-year-old youth (and the adult primary meal preparer) are randomly assigned to either the control arm (no treatment) or the intervention arm.

In the intervention group, child and parent dyads participate in 8 two-hour instructional and hands-pn classes focused on culinary skills, family meal times, and physical activity. These classes are conducted by trained researchers. The goal of these classes is to teach obesity prevention habits to both parents and children. In the control group, the child and parent dyads receive no education or training. Outcome measures are taken at baseline and 4, 12, and 24 months follow up.

Intervention type



Drug names

Primary outcome measure

Body mass index (BMI) z scores of children are assessed with height and weight measurements at baseline, 4, 12 and 24 months.

Secondary outcome measures

1. Dietary quality is measured using surveys at baseline, 4, 12, and 24 months
2. Physical activity is measured using surveys at baseline, 4, 12, and 24 months
3. Cooking skills measured using surveys at baseline, 4, 12, and 24 months
4. Family Mealtime characteristics is measured using surveys at baseline, 4, 12, and 24 months
5. Quality of life is measured using surveys at baseline, 4, 12, and 24 months
6. Kitchen proficiency, food-related behaviour, feeding relationship, family mealtime routine, family dynamics and quality of life of the primary adult meal preparer are assessed using surveys at baseline, 4, 12 and 24 months

Overall trial start date


Overall trial end date


Reason abandoned (if study stopped)


Participant inclusion criteria

Youth aged 9 to 10 years old and the adult primary meal preparer.

Participant type

Healthy volunteer

Age group




Target number of participants


Total final enrolment


Participant exclusion criteria

1. Any kind of food allergy or sensitivity
2. Physical or medical limitations
3. No home internet
4. No parent willing to participate
5. Unwilling to eat meat or dairy

Recruitment start date


Recruitment end date



Countries of recruitment

United States of America

Trial participating centre

West Virginia University
United States of America

Trial participating centre

University of Maine
United States of America

Trial participating centre

University of Tennessee
United States of America

Trial participating centre

University of Nebraska-Lincoln
United States of America

Trial participating centre

South Dakota State University
United States of America

Sponsor information


West Virginia University

Sponsor details

1 Waterfront Place
United States of America

Sponsor type




Funder type


Funder name

U.S. Department of Agriculture

Alternative name(s)

United States Department of Agriculture, The U.S. Department of Agriculture, USDA

Funding Body Type

government organisation

Funding Body Subtype

National government


United States of America

Results and Publications

Publication and dissemination plan

Exact plans for publication and dissemination are unknown at this time, but planned publication in a high-impact peer reviewed journal is expected in 2019. Additional study documents (study protocol, statistical analysis plan, etc.) will be available upon request. Please contact Dr. Melissa Olfert ( for requests for this information.

IPD sharing statement:
The datasets generated during and/or analysed during the current study are/will be available upon request from Dr. Melissa Olfert (

Intention to publish date


Participant level data

Available on request

Basic results (scientific)

Publication list

2019 results in: (added 16/09/2019)

Publication citations

Additional files

Editorial Notes

16/09/2019: Publication reference and total final enrolment added.