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UT School of Public Health Program to Prevent Childhood Obesity Expands to Central Texas Middle Schools
Date:3/5/2009

alle, Manor, Pflugerville and Round Rock.

"We've been extremely pleased thus far with the results of the CATCH program in elementary schools in my district," said Pascal D. Forgione, Jr., Ph.D., superintendent of Austin ISD. "While the data proves the program is successful, the real reward is seeing the students enjoy learning about how to live a healthy life. We realize that many of our students don't learn about nutrition and physical activity at home, so through programs like CATCH they're taught lessons that are of equal importance to any academic class."

The CATCH program, which began as a successful research study, was implemented in Travis County elementary schools in 2006 to help combat the childhood obesity epidemic plaguing Texas. Its success lies in its coordinated, holistic approach to instilling healthy habits, reaching children through health education curriculum, school food service, school physical activity programs and by engaging families and community members. Results of a recent study of CATCH elementary students in El Paso, Texas showed that the program successfully reversed the increase of obesity among a controlled group of school children.

Beginning in the fall of 2009, three evidence-based programs under the umbrella of the CATCH Middle School program will be introduced in select Texas middle schools. These programs include IMPACT, Heads Up!, and PASS and CATCH. IMPACT is a physical education, parent and child nutrition services program, Heads Up! is a basic science-education program that instructs students by using physical activity and nutrition examples, and lastly, PASS and CATCH is a program designed to improve concentration through teacher-led short movement breaks taken during class. Additionally, social marketing techniques that promote physical activity and healthy eating will be incorporated into school clubs and publications.

"The most exciting part of the new
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SOURCE Michael & Susan Dell Foundation
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