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APHA Scientific Session and Event Listing

[ Recorded presentation ] Recorded presentation

Application of the Transtheoretical Model to obesity prevention among elementary school students

Leanne M. Mauriello, PhD, Mary Margaret Driskell, M P H, Sharon J. Dyment, MPH, and Karen Sherman, BA. Pro-Change Behavior Systems, Inc., P.O. Box 755, West Kingston, RI 02892, 401-874-2017, lmauriello@prochange.com

Participation in health behaviors declines with age. This is especially true with energy balance behaviors. As individuals age, they tend to become more sedentary, less active, and gain weight. These trends are evident in the alarming rate of obesity and the consequential health impacts. It is imperative that we reach children with messages and behavior change strategies that instill healthy weight management behaviors before unhealthy lifestyle habits are deeply rooted. To this end, extensive formative research was conducted to elucidate effective assessment and intervention development strategies using the Transtheoretical Model (TTM) with the elementary school population. An iterative process of collecting qualitative and quantitative formative data included interviews with content experts and school personnel, focus groups with students, cognitive interviews with students, and a large (n=2,485) measurement development survey. The goal was to learn how to measure and promote national recommendations for physical activity, fruit and vegetable consumption, and limited television viewing among youth. This presentation will focus on the key learnings, including how to most accurately measure regular behavior among 4th and 5th graders, how to tailor assessment and intervention content to the cognitive and developmental perspective of this age group, and how to engage young students in health promotion efforts. Results of the measurement survey highlight the need for obesity prevention; the majority of students were not engaging in the recommended level of physical activity (57.6%), fruit and vegetable consumption (65.1%), or television viewing (74.5%). TTM-based interventions offer a promising population-based approach to promoting these health behaviors.

Learning Objectives: Participants will be able to

Keywords: Obesity, School-Based Programs

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Any relevant financial relationships? No

[ Recorded presentation ] Recorded presentation

Strategies in Obesity Prevention for Children

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