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BMC Public Health. 2008 Jun 29;8:223. doi: 10.1186/1471-2458-8-223.

SWITCH: rationale, design, and implementation of a community, school, and family-based intervention to modify behaviors related to childhood obesity.

Author information

  • 1Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI, USA. jce@msu.edu

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Although several previous projects have attempted to address the issue of child obesity through school-based interventions, the overall effectiveness of school-based programs on health-related outcomes in youth has been poor. Thus, it has been suggested that multi-level interventions that aim to influence healthy lifestyle behaviors at the community, school and family levels may prove more successful in the prevention of childhood obesity.

METHODS/DESIGN:

This paper describes the rationale, design, and implementation of a community-, school-, and family-based intervention aimed at modifying key behaviors (physical activity, screen time (Internet, television, video games), and nutrition) related to childhood obesity among third through fifth graders in two mid-western cities. The intervention involves a randomized study of 10 schools (5 intervention and 5 control schools). The intervention is being conducted during the duration of the academic year - approximately 9 months - and includes baseline and post-intervention measurements of physical activity, dietary intake, screen time and body composition.

DISCUSSION:

We hope this report will be useful to researchers, public health professionals, and school administrators and health professionals (nurses and physical/health educators) seeking to develop similar prevention programs. It is obvious that more collaborative, inter-disciplinary, multi-level work is needed before a proven, effective intervention package to modify behaviors related to childhood obesity can be generally recommended. It is our hope that SWITCH is a step in that direction.

TRIAL REGISTRATION:

ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00685555.

PMID:
18588706
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC2474862
Free PMC Article

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