|Thompson, Deborah - Debbe|
Submitted to: Preventive Medicine
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/30/2008
Publication Date: 11/1/2008
Citation: Thompson, D., Baranowski, T., Cullen, K., Watson, K., Liu, Y., Canada, A., Bhatt, R., Zakeri, I. 2008. Food, fun, and fitness internet program for girls: Pilot evaluation of an e-Health youth obesity prevention program examining predictors of obesity. Preventive Medicine. 47(5):494-497.
Interpretive Summary: Youth obesity is a concern. Obesity prevention is important, particularly among high risk groups. Diet and physical activity behaviors contribute to obesity risk and should be part of obesity prevention programs. The Internet is readily available and accessible and may be an effective way to deliver obesity prevention programs to youth. This study tested whether an 8-week Internet-based obesity prevention program could change diet (fruit, juice, and vegetable intake) and physical activity among 8- to 10-year-old African American girls. Results showed increases in fruit, juice, and vegetable intake, physical activity, and confidence in ability to eat fruit, juice, and vegetables. This suggests that Internet may be an effective way to deliver obesity prevention programs to youth.
Technical Abstract: This pilot study tested whether an Internet-based intervention could achieve change in fruit, juice, and vegetable consumption, physical activity, and self-efficacy in youth at-risk of obesity. Participants were 80 8- to 10-year-old African American girls at-risk of obesity, with a home computer, Internet access, and an e-mail address. A two-group design was followed. Groups differed only on incentive schedule (immediate, delayed). The 8-week home-based program, conducted entirely over the Internet, promoted fruit, juice, vegetables, and water intake and physical activity. Pre-post measures were collected through self-report via the program website. The study was conducted in the greater Houston, TX, area September through November 2004. Statistically significant pre-to-post differences were observed in fruit, juice, and vegetable consumption (p=.002), physical activity—yesterday (pb.001), physical activity—usually (p=.001), and fruit, juice, and vegetable self-efficacy (p=.003). Internet-based obesity prevention programs may be an effective channel for promoting healthy diet and physical activity behaviors to youth at-risk of obesity. Additional research is needed to more fully examine their effectiveness at promoting and maintaining diet and physical activity change.