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Prev Med. 2003 Dec;37(6 Pt 2):S62-9.

The effects of the Pathways Obesity Prevention Program on physical activity in American Indian children.

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  • 1Department of Nutritional Sciences, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85721, USA.



Inadequate opportunities for physical activity at school and overall low levels of activity contribute to the high prevalence of overweight and obesity in American-Indian children.


A school-based physical activity intervention was implemented which emphasized increasing the frequency and quality of physical education (PE) classes and activity breaks. Changes in physical activity were assessed using the TriTrac-R3D accelerometer in a subsample of 580 of the students (34%) randomly selected from the Pathways study cohort. Baseline measures were completed with children in second grade. Follow-up measurements were obtained in the spring of the fifth grade.


Intervention schools were more active (+6.3 to +27.2%) than control schools at three of the four sites, although the overall difference between intervention and control schools (approximately 10%) was not significant (P>0.05). Boys were more active than girls by 17 to 21% (P < or =.01) at both baseline and follow-up.


Despite the trend for greater physical activity at three of four study sites, and an overall difference of approximately 10% between intervention and control schools, high variability in accelerometer AVM and the opportunity to measure physical activity on only 1 day resulted in a the failure to detect the difference as significant.

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