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Am J Health Promot. 2012 Sep-Oct;27(1):e27-36. doi: 10.4278/ajhp.110412-QUAN-157.

"Eat Healthy, Stay Active!": a coordinated intervention to improve nutrition and physical activity among Head Start parents, staff, and children.

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  • 1Johnson & Johnson Health Care Institute, Anderson School of Management, University of California, Los Angeles, California 90095-1481, USA.

Abstract

PURPOSE:

Examine the effectiveness of the "Eat Healthy, Stay Active!" pilot program, a multisite, 6-month educational intervention to promote healthy nutrition and physical activity among Head Start staff, parents, and children.

DESIGN:

Comparison of within-group preintervention and postintervention knowledge and behavior, along with anthropomorphic measurements.

SETTING:

The study was conducted in a convenience sample of six large Head Start agencies in five states.

SUBJECTS:

Participants included 496 staff, 438 parents, and 112 preschool children.

INTERVENTION:

The 6-month intervention consisted of core trainings and reinforcing activities for staff and parents that aligned with children's curricula.

MEASURES:

Pre-post questionnaires and anthropometric measurements examined changes in body mass index (BMI), knowledge, and behaviors related to nutrition and physical activity.

ANALYSIS:

Paired t-tests to compare preintervention and postintervention weights and BMI; multiple regression analyses to examine associations between weight changes and other covariates, including knowledge and behavior changes, controlling for sociodemographic variables.

RESULTS:

Each group of participants demonstrated significant reductions in BMI (mean  =  30.1 to 29.2; p < .001 in adults and 17.0 to 16.6; p < 0.001 in children) and in the proportion of obese children (30% to 21%; p < .001) and adults (45% to 40%; p < .001). Child weight changes correlated with parent weight changes.

CONCLUSION:

This intervention showed promising initial results, with potential effectiveness as an intervention to promote healthier behaviors among adults and children in Head Start settings.

PMID:
22950932
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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