Program ENERGY: Scientists and students in the classroom tackling type 2 and obesity in elementary schools

Published:2007, Appetite
Authors:Campfield LA, Smith F
Type:Project Generated
View Publication http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0195666307000839

Abstract

Program ENERGY’s goal is to reduce obesity/type 2 diabetes in suburban/rural elementary school children and families by teaching/reinforcing body science, energy balance and healthy behavior choices. Subjects were 2-6 grade children and their families and the approach is an integrated science/math/health enrichment. Children discover, explore, inquire and learn the basis of healthy behaviors in a challenging, scientific setting, with the support of scientists/health professionals/students. Knowledge is brought home and shared with their families. A 32-week program of classroom and gym activities was conducted in second and third grade classes in two consecutive school years. Beginning and end of the school year assessments including knowledge and attitudes about food and physical activity, anthropomorphic and behavioral assessments were conducted. Results of pre- and post- tests for year 1 show statistically significant improvements in the intervention school compared to the control school: health and science knowledge, attitudes (e.g. healthy food selection), behaviors (e.g. increased steps, increased body acceptance), and increased interest in science/health-related careers. Improvements were maintained during the second year. The 2-yr intervention had high rates of enrollment and retention, positive evaluations by children and educators, produced significant positive outcomes in health/science knowledge, attitudes (healthy food selection), behaviors (e.g., increased steps, increased body acceptance), and increased interest in science and health-related careers. Program ENERGY is an effective elementary school/family-based intervention with high rates of enrollment/retention, positive evaluations by children/educators that produced significant positive outcomes in health/ science knowledge, attitudes, behaviors and increased interest in science and health-related careers.