Navigation Links
Study finds intervention program increases kids' healthy eating, reduces screen time

AMES, Iowa -- A new Iowa State University study found that a family, school and community intervention program helps children live healthier lives and could be a new tool in the fight against the nation's childhood obesity epidemic.

In the study, children who participated in The Switch program -- a program developed by the Minneapolis-based National Institute on Media and the Family (NIMF) -- watched an average of two fewer hours of television and also consumed two more servings of fruits and vegetables per week than those who weren't in the program. Program participants also walked 300 more steps per day.

"The successes in this study were modest, which is what one would expect," said Iowa State Assistant Professor of Psychology Douglas Gentile, the lead researcher and director of research for NIMF. "People usually make incremental changes, but those add up over time."

In addition to Gentile, the 10-member research team included ISU researchers Greg Welk, an associate professor of kinesiology; and Dan Russell, a professor of human development and family studies; as well as former Iowa State kinesiology professor Joey Eisenmann. The research team authored a paper on their results, which has been posted online in BMC Medicine Evaluation, a professional journal in the United Kingdom.

The researchers evaluated the eight-month intervention program in a group of 1,323 students (third, fourth and fifth graders) and their parents from 10 schools -- split between Lakeville, Minn., and Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Measures of the key behaviors were collected three times from the children -- prior to administering the program, immediately after it was completed, and six months following its completion.

The Switch program encourages children to "Switch what they Do, View and Chew" and features three components: community, school and family. The community component promotes awareness of the importance of healthy lifestyles using paid advertising, such as billboards; and unpaid media, including editorials. The school component reinforces the Switch messages by providing teachers with materials and methods to integrate key health concepts into the school day. And in the family component, participating families receive monthly packets containing behavioral tools to assist them in altering their health behaviors.

"The program is designed to be a more comprehensive approach to childhood obesity prevention," Gentile said. "It results from several lessons we learned, while creating interventions over the past 15 years. One is that focusing on kids can work, but unless the family's on board, you're not going to get much movement. So the ideal program would be to work at multiple ecological levels all at once so that people are getting repeated, parallel, overlapping messages at the individual, family and community levels."

Gentile reports that the positive effects on children remained significant at the six-month follow-up evaluation, indicating maintenance of these differences over time. In fact, they increased slightly following the intervention, which may contribute to reduced weight risks in the future.

"To me, the strongest finding is that we found stronger results in the six-month follow-up than at the end of the intervention -- and that's unique," said ISU's Welk, who studies exercise and health. "That would imply that the lessons took hold after the intervention and families have had time to apply them to their lives."

The ISU researchers are planning further analysis of the data gathered in this research for future studies, including one that will explore a "booster" component of The Switch program.


Contact: Mike Ferlazzo
Iowa State University

Related medicine news :

1. Exercise May Prevent Prostate Cancer: Study
2. Video: Despite Increased Health Threat, New Study Finds Low Concern About Flu Among Hispanics
3. New England Journal of Medicine Also Publishes Mayo Clinic Study of Physicians Beliefs About Health Care Reform
4. New England Journal of Medicine publishes Mayo Clinic study about health care reform
5. HIV vaccine regimen demonstrates modest preventive effect in Thailand clinical study
6. Volcano Corporation Praises FAME Study Results
7. Study reveals 2/3 of prostate cancer patients do not need treatment
8. Study looks at using the immune system to reduce prostate cancer risk
9. Nexavar in Combination With Chemotherapy Demonstrates 74 Percent Improvement in Progression-Free Survival in Patients With Advanced Breast Cancer in Phase 2 Study
10. Study Suggests a Wider Use for Statins
11. Tired, Stressed Docs Make More Mistakes, Study Finds
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/29/2015)... , ... November 29, 2015 , ... Effective immediately, every ... In addition starting on Black Friday Target is offering a “Buy One Scrub Set, ... is a rare opportunity to purchase IguanaMed at a discounted price. , ...
(Date:11/28/2015)... ... 2015 , ... Beginning November 30th at 6:00 a.m. EST until 11:59 p.m. EST, ... savings of up to 20% off orders $80 or more to free gifts with purchases, ... hours. , As a competitive e-commerce website for skin care and cosmetic needs, customers will ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... ... According to an article published November 15th by ABC News, while ... light of the recent terrorist attacks in Paris, other cities are taking extra precautions ... reaching U.S. soil. Especially around special events that may be high-profile in nature, the ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... (PRWEB) , ... November 27, 2015 , ... Lizzie’s Lice ... The company is offering customers 10% off of their purchase of lice treatment product. ... at full price. According to a company spokesperson. “Finding lice is a sure way ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... November 27, 2015 , ... Intellitec Solutions announced today ... Group (MSDSLUG). Recognized as Microsoft’s official group for end users of Dynamics SL ... users, partners, industry experts and representatives. Intellitec Solutions’ membership status demonstrates their ongoing ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/26/2015)... Países Bajos, November 26, 2015 ... fotodinámica de Bremachlorin para el cáncer avanzado.   ... con la terapia fotodinámica de Bremachlorin para el cáncer ... enfoque combina la inmunoterapia con la terapia fotodinámica de ... Clinical Cancer Research . --> Clinical Cancer ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... 26, 2015 ... aanpak combineert immunotherapie met Bremachlorin-photodynamische therapie voor ... ) --> ... ) Uit ... Centrum (LUMC) blijkt ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... 3D bioprinting market is expected ... new report by Grand View Research Inc. Rising prevalence of ... kidney transplantation is expected to boost the market growth, as ... transplantation. --> 3D bioprinting market is expected ... new report by Grand View Research Inc. Rising prevalence of ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: