Navigation Links
Changing school environment curbs weight gain in children
Date:4/6/2008

Small changes in schools lead to big results when it comes to preventing childhood obesity, according to a study published in the April issue of Pediatrics. The school-based intervention, which reduced the incidence of overweight by 50 percent, offers a potential means of preventing childhood weight gain and obesity on a large scale.

The increasing prevalence and serious consequences of childhood obesity have pushed us to find solutions that go beyond the clinic and reach greater numbers of children, said lead author Gary Foster, Ph.D., director of the Center for Obesity Research and Education at Temple University. We focused on school because children spend most of their lives there and eat at least one if not two meals there.

The two-year study was conducted in 10 K-8 Philadelphia schools. Half the schools implemented a multi-faceted nutrition policy, including social marketing and family outreach, which was developed by The Food Trust, a non-profit organization committed to ensuring that everyone has access to affordable, nutritious food.

We incorporated healthy eating into every part of the school day in order to have a greater impact on the students, said Sandy Sherman, Ed.D., director of nutrition education at The Food Trust. The intervention fundamentally changed the school environment.

The other five schools served as a comparison. The study focused on 1,349 students in grades 4 through 6, and followed them for a two-year period, measuring weight, height and physical activity before and after.

The intervention, also called the School Nutrition Policy Initiative, included the following components: school self-assessment, nutrition education, nutrition policy, social marketing and parent outreach.

Every member of the school community worked together to create a healthier environment, said Sherman.

Nutrition policy

Soda was replaced with water, 100 percent fruit juice and low-fat milk. Snacks were capped at 7 grams of total fat, 2 grams of saturated fat, 360 milligrams of sodium and 15 grams of sugar per serving. Candy was eliminated from the school premises.

Nutrition education

Teachers received 10 hours of training in teaching nutrition, and students received 50 hours of nutrition education over the course of the year.

Social marketing

Kids were rewarded for healthy snacking and encouraged to save their appetites for healthy meals. Nutritious snacks and drinks earned them raffle tickets to win prizes.

Family outreach

Nutrition educators encouraged parents and students to purchase healthy snacks. Students were challenged to be less sedentary and more physically active, and to eat more fruits and vegetables.

For details on the School Nutrition Policy Initiative, go to www.thefoodtrust.org/php/programs/comp.school.nutrition.php

Only 7.5 percent of children became overweight in intervention schools, compared with 15 percent of children who became overweight in comparison schools. The intervention was even more effective in African American students, who were less likely to be overweight than those in the comparison schools after two years.

The results are particularly interesting for urban schools, where rates of childhood obesity are disproportionately higher than in suburban areas and greatly affected by the surrounding environment.

In some inner-city neighborhoods, its safer to stay inside after school than to go outside and play. When money is tight, its cheaper to feed your kids convenience foods, which are usually higher in fat and calories. Multiple environmental factors are responsible for the childhood obesity epidemic, said Foster.

Despite the success of the interventions, the fact that 7.5 percent of children in School Nutrition Policy Initiative schools still gained weight over the two-year period suggests that stronger or additional interventions are needed, such as more time spent on physical education, more aggressive nutrition policies, and interventions that target the environment outside of schools.

The researchers also recommend that prevention programs begin even earlier than 4th grade, as the prevalence of overweight children (BMI above the 85th percentile) in grades 4 through 6 is already high at 41.7 percent.

Temple and The Food Trust are currently working together on a corner store initiative, designed to improve the nutrition of food and snacks for sale at neighborhood stores.


'/>"/>

Contact: Renee Cree
renee.cree@temple.edu
215-707-1583
Temple University
Source:Eurekalert  

Related medicine news :

1. The Changing Face of Medicine: National Medical Fellowships Annual Awards Gala Honors Three Fellows
2. Freeland, MI Woman Wins $50,000 for Losing Weight, Adding Muscle and Changing Her Life
3. Lupus Advocates Seek Increased Federal Response to Life-Changing, Life-Threatening Disease Affecting 1.5 Million Americans
4. Fish devastated by sex-changing chemicals in municipal wastewater
5. Hillenbrand Announces Mailing of Proxy Regarding Changing of Company Name in Conjunction with Planned Separation
6. New DuPont(TM) Agility(TM) SG Herbicide Offers Wheat Growers Answers to Changing Weed Control Needs
7. AAPPO and HCAA Form Partnership to Enhance Services to Meet the Changing Business Needs of PPOs and TPAs
8. Use of intraoperative MRI adds time but care-changing information to neurosurgery, study shows
9. Changing the way doctors treat high blood pressure
10. High school students get a taste of dental research
11. AARP Legacy Award Celebrates Seaford High School for Innovation in Education
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Changing school environment curbs weight gain in children
(Date:5/25/2016)... ... May 25, 2016 , ... Today Omega Institute, a ... 11 innovative workshops and training opportunities in the growing field of ... of individuals who are dealing with specific health issues—including injuries, illnesses, and temporary or ...
(Date:5/25/2016)... ... 2016 , ... Cheryl Bowker of Bowker Insurance Group has been presented with ... Legacy Award. McKenna ran one of Allstate’s most successful agencies for 48 years, but ... knew him. The award named for him is not given every year, but only ...
(Date:5/25/2016)... FL (PRWEB) , ... May 25, 2016 , ... The ... dive into the unique integrative medical wellness offerings of Europe, a continent that pioneered ... Tyrol, Austria will hear from numerous pioneers in medical wellness, including Henri Chenot, Founder ...
(Date:5/25/2016)... FL (PRWEB) , ... May 25, 2016 , ... ... Cross Benefit Clearinghouse supporting the real time adjudication of medical service claims by ... providers using their current medical claims management software. The TransactRx Cross Benefit Clearinghouse ...
(Date:5/25/2016)... ... May 25, 2016 , ... Conrad Siegel Actuaries, delivering ... and Prescription Drug survey , an employee benefits survey measuring how ... in December 2015, indicates that employers are turning to consumer directed health care ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:5/24/2016)... , May 24, 2016 ... médica para ayudar a los médicos a compartir sus ... pacientes a escala mundial. Profesionales médicos de Europa, África, ... se han apuntado a la aplicación, que combina la ... un entorno totalmente seguro. Educación   ...
(Date:5/24/2016)...   , Study met ... and superiority in , Excellent plus ... of the ascending colon   , ... B.V. today announced new positive data from the phase III MORA ... standard 2 litre PEG with ascorbate. The study met both primary ...
(Date:5/24/2016)... , May 24, 2016 ARANZ ... for the healthcare sector, has been named the Coretex Hi-Tech ... Awards 2016. Dr Bruce Davey , CEO ... our team.  It,s really good to be recognised for the ... Our products are used in 35 countries around the world ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: