204884 School-Based Programs to Prevent Obesity Among K-6 Learners: A Follow-up Analysis of What Works? What's Promising?

Monday, November 9, 2009

Ray Marks, EdD , Health and Behavior Studies, Teachers College, Columbia University, New York, NY
John Allegrante, PhD , Health and Behavior Studies, Teachers College, Columbia University, New York, NY
Background: In the last 15 years, obesity among children has increased dramatically (Mokdad et al., 1999.) This situation presents a very pressing problem because obese children have higher rates of many health problems (Trent, 2002)and over 40% of obese children become obese adults (Himes & Dietz, 1994).

Objectives: To examine and provide an update of what school-based programs exist to counteract youth obesity among K-6 children-a very vulnerable population. To examine if these programs work, their impact and reach, and what characterizes successful interventions.

Methods: An ongoing state-of-the-art literature review is being conducted using CINAHL, COCHRANE, EMBASE, MEDLINE, and PUBMED databases and includes the years 1999-2009. More specifically, all multi-component school-based obesity that focus on K-6 grade learners are being located and systematically evaluated and graded for research quality and intervention effectiveness. Key words are: Schools, Obesity, Prevention, and all English language peer reviewed randomized trials are being analyzed.

Results: To date, very few school-based obesity prevention programs have specifically focused on K-6 learners. Most programs that do exist have been conducted since 2006 and of the 12 reports currently retrieved, some are pilot studies only. However, several randomized trials do show effectiveness and promise that may be prolonged. Creative engaging programs seem to work best.

Implications: Public health professionals interested in preventing childhood obesity in the child's early formative years can apply these data to guide their efforts to address this problem, a very important public health issue, but one poorly addressed to date.

Learning Objectives:
To describe what school based programs have been put in place to counteract childhood obesity, specifically at the K-6 grade levels. To discuss what programs seems effective or promising. To identify future goals and research directives for preventing childhood obesity.

Keywords: Children's Health, Obesity

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: We have been conducting this work for several years.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.