Navigation Links
'Color My Pyramid' nutrition education program battles obesity in DC schools

FAIRFAX, Va. An online game might be the secret weapon for winning the war against childhood obesity. Researchers at George Mason University have designed and tested a nutrition education program called "Color My Pyramid" to teach students how to evaluate their dietary intake and activity level. The program incorporates the Department of Agriculture's for Kids Blast-Off Game, an interactive computer game that allows kids to win by fueling their rocket with nutritious foods and a healthy level of physical activity.

The Color My Pyramid program comprises six classes taught over a period of three months. Researcher analysis showed that the program significantly improved children's eating habits, increased physical activity levels, lowered blood pressure and decreased weight and Body Mass Index percentiles.

"With 35 to 40 percent of children's daily calorie consumption occurring during the school day, it is quite appropriate that a comprehensive nutrition intervention in school would assess, prevent and reduce the number of overweight and obese children," says Lisa Pawloski, associate professor and chair of the Department of Global and Community Health in the College of Health and Human Services and co-designer of the program. "We hope that this pilot study provides a clearer understanding of effective approaches to nutrition interventions for school age children."

More than half of the participants, ages 9 to 11, were in the overweight or obese categories, a finding that although alarming, is consistent with the current trends of children from lower-income families living in urban areas.

"Washington, D.C., has one of the highest childhood obesity rates in the country and it is unfortunately leading to serious problems of chronic diseases at a young age," says Pawloski. "As a researcher, it was very eye opening to see the number of local children affected by this epidemic. It was also different from other research projects because we both designed the education program and tested its effectiveness."

The epidemic of childhood obesity in the United States is growing. Results from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's 2003-04 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey indicate that 17 percent of children and adolescents ages 2 to 19 years are overweight, putting them at increased risk for diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and cancer. However, Pawloskiwho led the study along with Jean Burley Moore, professor and assistant dean of nursing research development in the College of Health and Human Servicesfeels confident that childhood obesity can be overcome through education and parental involvement.

"One of the major issues underlying obesity is selecting the right foods," Pawloski says. "By educating children about making healthy eating choices and educating parents and teachers on how to encourage those behaviors, children may have better success in sustaining a healthy weight."


Contact: Marjorie Musick
George Mason University

Related biology news :

1. Colorful spy tactics track live cells supporting cancerous tumors
2. Scientists discover major genetic cause of colorectal cancer
3. Colorado Rocky Mountain Region: A Geological Cornucopia
4. Colorado Sen. Ken Salazar receives Soil Stewardship Award
5. Colorectal cancer screening rates still too low
6. Insect warning colors aid cancer and tropical disease drug discovery
7. NYU scientists set stage for understanding how color vision is processed
8. Scientists find color vision system independent of motion detection
9. University of Colorado at Boulder awarded $1 million for biofuels research
10. Colorado Engineering Firms Win NASA Grant to Develop Innovative Insulation for Next Generation Spacecraft - Super-Insulation May Allow Future Energy Efficient Appliances
11. Forests could benefit when fall color comes late
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/2/2015)... MENLO PARK, Calif. , Nov. 2, 2015 /PRNewswire/ ... to $9 million to provide preclinical development services to ... Under the contract, SRI will provide scientific expertise, modern ... a wide variety of preclinical pharmacology and toxicology studies ... --> --> The PREVENT Cancer Drug ...
(Date:10/29/2015)... Mich. , Oct. 29, 2015  Rubicon ... Genomics for U.S. distribution of its DNA library ... kit and Rubicon,s new ThruPLEX Plasma-seq kit. ThruPLEX ... enable the preparation of NGS libraries for liquid ... for diagnostic and prognostic applications in cancer and ...
(Date:10/27/2015)... NEW YORK , Oct. 27, 2015 ... the major issues of concern for various industry verticals ... This is due to the growing demand for secure ... practices in various ,sectors, such as hacking of bank ... concerns for electronic equipment such as PC,s, laptops, and ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/25/2015)... SAN DIEGO , Nov. 25, 2015  Neurocrine ... Kevin Gorman , President and CEO of Neurocrine ... Jaffray Healthcare Conference in New York ... encouraged to visit the website approximately 5 minutes prior ... software.  A replay of the presentation will be available ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... , Nov. 25, 2015 Orexigen® Therapeutics, Inc. ... participate in a fireside chat discussion at the Piper ... York . The discussion is scheduled for Wednesday, ... .  A replay will be available for ... Stilwell  , Julie NormartVP, Corporate Communications and Business ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... 24, 2015  Asia-Pacific (APAC) holds the third-largest ... market. The trend of outsourcing to low-cost locations ... higher volume share for the region in the ... margins in the CRO industry will improve. ... ( ), finds that the market earned ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... 24, 2015 Halozyme Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: HALO ) ... New York on Wednesday, December 2 at 9:30 ... president and CEO, will provide a corporate overview. th ... at 1:00 p.m. ET/10:00 a.m. PT . Jim ... provide a corporate overview. --> th Annual Oppenheimer ...
Breaking Biology Technology: