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Child Obes. 2014 Jun;10(3):251-9. doi: 10.1089/chi.2013.0075. Epub 2014 May 2.

Energy balance for kids with play: design and implementation of a multi-component school-based obesity prevention program.

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  • 11 Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Foundation , Chicago, IL.



Improving nutrition and physical activity behaviors associated with childhood obesity are significant national public health goals. Energy Balance for Kids with Play (EB4K with Play), developed through a partnership between the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Foundation and Playworks, is a multi-component school-based intervention designed to address youth's nutrition and physical activity behaviors. This article describes the EB4K with Play intervention and evaluation study and presents the baseline data.


The evaluation is a 2-year cluster-randomized design targeting third- to fifth-grade students enrolled in a low-income, urban school district in northern California. Six schools were recruited to participate. Four were randomized to the intervention group and two into a control group. Baseline student-level data pertaining to nutrition, physical activity, fitness, and BMI were collected in the fall of 2011. The EB4K with Play program, which includes direct-to-student nutrition and physical activity interventions, a school wellness component, and parent/community partner outreach components, began immediately after baseline data collection.


An ethnically diverse sample of students (n=844) was recruited to participate in the study. Baseline data showed a higher percent of eligibility for free and reduced-price school lunch and higher rates of obesity/overweight than the California state averages. Fitness levels and levels of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity were comparable to state averages.


End-point data will be collected after 2 years of the intervention. The findings from this study should help guide future efforts to design effective intervention programs to support the prevention of pediatric obesity.

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