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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.



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.


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


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


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


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


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


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.


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.


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

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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