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APHA Scientific Session and Event Listing

Universal elementary school-based interventions to prevent childhood obesity

Megan Canavera, RD1, Manoj Sharma, PhD2, and Judy Murnan, PhD, MPH1. (1) University of Cincinnati, Health Promotion & Edcuation, Cincinnati, OH 45221-0002, (513) 377-2753, canaveml@email.uc.edu, (2) Health Promotion & Education, University of Cincinnati & Walden University, Teachers College 526 J, P. O. Box 210002, Cincinnati, OH 45221-0002

Globally over 1 billion people are overweight of which 22 million are children. Among these overweight individuals 30% are obese. Several childhood obesity prevention programs have been implemented and evaluated. The purpose of this article was to review and critically examine current universal (aimed at all children), elementary school-based interventions for preventing obesity in children. An extensive search of MEDLINE, CINAHL, & ERIC databases was conducted for the time period 2000-2005 to locate all published interventions. A total of fourteen interventions matched the criteria. Of these, one was from Asia (Singapore), one from Australia, eight from Europe (one from Austria, three from Germany, one from Greece, and three from UK), and four from North America (one from Canada and three from USA). Some strong points of these interventions were that about half were able to demonstrate short term changes in obesity indices (such as BMI, skin fold thickness etc), large majority (71%) focused on changing individual level behaviors, and 57% focused on influencing both physical activity and nutrition behaviors. Parental involvement was correlated with success but was used by only two interventions and needs to be used more. Some limitations of the interventions were that only 42% utilized any behavioral theory and only one demonstrated changes in the theoretical constructs. Process evaluations were not done by all interventions. Likewise long term follow-up and adding components to influence policies and environments are needed by future interventions. Implications for developing childhood obesity prevention interventions are discussed.

Learning Objectives: At the end of this presentation the participants will be able to

Keywords: Children, Obesity

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Not Answered

Strategies for Improving Nutrition and Physical Activity

The 134th Annual Meeting & Exposition (November 4-8, 2006) of APHA