Location: Children's Nutrition Research CenterTitle: Multicomponent school-initiated obesity intervention in a high-risk, Hispanic elementary school) Author
Submitted to: Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition
Publication Type: Peer reviewed journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/5/2011
Publication Date: 1/3/2012
Citation: Klish, W.J., Karavias, K.E., White, K.S., Balch, A.J., Fraley, J.K., Mikhail, C., Abrams, S.H., Terrazas, N.L., Smith, E.O., Wong, W.W. 2012. Multicomponent school-initiated obesity intervention in a high-risk, Hispanic elementary school. Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition. 54(1):113-116. Interpretive Summary: Childhood obesity is a major health issue in this country particularly among Hispanics. Since children spend the majority of their time at school, school is considered to be an ideal location to prevent childhood obesity. We tested a childhood obesity prevention program at an elementary school with the majority of their students being Hispanic. The program was designed to change the food and physical activity habits of the children in order to achieve a healthy lifestyle. The program ran for one school year and the results were compared to those collected from another school without the intervention program. In spite of strong support from the school, the program was found to be ineffective to reduce childhood obesity at the school.
Technical Abstract: The aim of the study was to determine the effectiveness of a school-initiated cognitive and behavioral program to reduce childhood obesity. Height, weight, body mass index (BMI), and BMI z scores were obtained at the beginning and end of the school year at an intervention school (n=1022)and at a control school (n=692). The prevalence of overweight and obesity was 18.9% and 30.4% versus 19% and 30.2%, respectively, in the intervention and control schools. The incidence of overweight increased in the control school, but the incidence of obesity, weight, and BMI z scores increased significantly in the intervention school, suggesting that implementation of any school-based obesity intervention programs requires careful planning to achieve goals.