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J Am Diet Assoc. 2008 Nov;108(11):1916-20. doi: 10.1016/j.jada.2008.08.002.

Evaluation of the Gold Medal Schools program.

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  • 1Division of Nutrition, 250 South 1850 East, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT 84112, USA.


Utah's Gold Medal Schools program supports the adoption of school policies that provide opportunities for nutritious food choices and regular physical activity. The effectiveness of Gold Medal Schools was evaluated via anthropometric measurements and dietary and physical activity surveys. The study population included first-, third-, and fifth-grade elementary school students and parents from four schools in Tooele County, UT. Two schools implemented Gold Medal Schools (intervention) and two did not (comparison). Data were collected at baseline (June 2005) and 1 year (May 2006). Body mass index (calculated as kg/m(2)) z scores increased significantly in the comparison group (0.53+/-0.38; P<0.05), but not in the intervention group (0.21+/-0.47; P=0.484), from baseline to 1 year. Children in the Gold Medal Schools cohort reported drinking fewer soft drinks per day (excluding diet drinks) at 1 year (P=0.008) and walking or biking to school more often at baseline and 1 year (P<0.001) than non-Gold Medal Schools children. While children in both groups increased the days per week they walked or biked to school, a substantial improvement was observed for the non-Gold Medal Schools students only (P<0.001). Overall, this pilot study suggests that Gold Medal Schools positively impacted body mass index z scores and health behaviors among elementary-aged students.

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