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Psychol Rep. 2009 Jun;104(3):879-95.

Effects of the Youth Fit for Life protocol on physiological, psychological, and behavioral factors at YMCA Calgary after-school care sites.

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YMCA of Metropolitan Atlanta, 100 Edgewood Avenue N.E., Suite 1100, Atlanta, GA, USA.


Youth inactivity and inappropriately high weight is a problem in the United States, Canada, and much of the industrialized world. Physiological and behavioral changes associated with the Youth Fit For Life protocol, a physical activity and nutrition education treatment based on self-efficacy theory, were assessed in 7- to 12-yr.-olds (N - 43) from Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Body Mass Index, strength, and cardiorespiratory endurance significantly improved over a 12-wk. period when contrasted with changes based on normative data. Significant within-group improvements in measures of self-efficacy, vegetable intake, and voluntary moderate-to-vigorous physical activity were also found over 12 wk. Multiple regression analysis indicated that score changes in measures of self-regulatory and task self-efficacy, and general self, accounted for changes in voluntary physical activity. Implications for use of behaviorally based methods for large-scale obesity prevention treatments in preadolescents were discussed.

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