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Contemp Clin Trials. 2008 Sep;29(5):783-95. doi: 10.1016/j.cct.2008.03.004. Epub 2008 Mar 26.

Louisiana (LA) Health: design and methods for a childhood obesity prevention program in rural schools.

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Pennington Biomedical Research Center, 6400 Perkins Rd., Baton Rouge, LA 70808, USA.


There is a worldwide epidemic of obesity with far-reaching consequences for the health of our nation. Prevention of obesity, especially in children, has been deemed by public health policy makers to be one of the most important objectives for our country. This prevention project, called Louisiana (LA) Health, will test whether modification of environmental and behavioral factors can prevent inappropriate weight gain in children from rural parishes of Louisiana who are enrolled in the fourth to sixth grades during Year 1. The primary aim of the LA Health project is to test the efficacy of two school-based approaches for obesity prevention: primary prevention alone and a combination of primary and secondary prevention which will be compared to a no-intervention control group using a cluster randomization research design, with 17 school clusters randomly assigned to the three treatment arms. The study will span 3 years and will provide critical tests of strategies that: 1) modify the child's environment as a primary prevention strategy and 2) provide health behavior modification via classroom instruction and internet counseling as a secondary prevention strategy. The study will also recruit a similar sample of students to measure changes in body weight relative to height, gender, and age over the same three-year period.


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