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American Public Health Association
133rd Annual Meeting & Exposition
December 10-14, 2005
Philadelphia, PA
APHA 2005
3346.0: Monday, December 12, 2005 - Board 9

Abstract #115727

American Indian Children Walking for Health: Two Years of Walking at School

Donald B. Bishop, PhD1, Gretchen L. Taylor, MPH, RD1, Rita A. Warren Mays, MS, RD, LN1, John H. Himes, PhD2, Mary Story, PhD RD2, Oran Beaulieu, BS3, and Nicole Beaulieu, MMgt3. (1) Center for Health Promotion, Minnesota Dept. of Health, P.O. Box 64882, St. Paul, MN 55164-0882, 651/281-9818, gretchen.taylor@health.state.mn.us, (2) Division of Epidemiology, University of Minnesota, 1300 South Second Street, Suite 300, Minneapolis, MN 55454, (3) Red Lake Comprehensive Health Services, Red Lake Band of Chippewa Indians, PO Box 249, Red Lake, MN 56671

Obesity is one of the most serious public health problems facing American Indian children. In this study, at baseline 64% of American Indian children at the end of 2nd grade had BMI scores above the 85th percentile. School-based interventions strategies for obesity prevention and control are urgently needed. The goal of the Walking for Health pilot study was to assess the feasibility of a school-based program for promoting increased physical activity among American Indian children living on two reservations in northern Minnesota to reduce their risk of obesity. The intervention consisted of a policy change that allowed students, while in the 3rd and 4th grade, to participate with their teachers in a daily 20 to 30 minute walk as part of the school day. The hypothesis tested was the feasibility of integrating a daily walking program into a national environment that, due to academic concerns, has steadily decreased the time an opportunity for physical activity at school to meet academic expectations. The primary endpoints of this pilot study were the extent and fidelity of program implementation and changes in BMI, body fat, average daily physical activity, and attitudes and preferences for physical activity. In the first year, 3rd grade students and their teachers walked 85% of all school days. The two participating intervention schools in comparison to the control school at the end of one year had lower body fat (p<.06). Final data from two years of walking (3rd and 4th grade) will be presented.

Learning Objectives:

Keywords: School Health, Obesity

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

I wish to disclose that I have NO financial interests or other relationship with the manufactures of commercial products, suppliers of commercial services or commercial supporters.

School Health Posters: Obesity Prevention

The 133rd Annual Meeting & Exposition (December 10-14, 2005) of APHA