246765 Effects of Parent Engagement and Community Partnerships on School-based Childhood Obesity Prevention

Monday, October 31, 2011: 11:15 AM

Thomas Reischl, PhD , Prevention Research Center of Michgian, University of Michigan School of Public Health, Ann Arbor, MI
Susan Franzen, MS , Prevention Research Center of Michigan, University of Michigan School of Public Health, Flint, MI
Huda Fadel, MPH, PhD , Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, Southfield, MI
Shoma Pal, MPH MBA , Health Policy and Social Mission, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, Southfield, MI
Background: Addressing rising rates of childhood obesity, the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan (BCBSM) Building Healthy Communities (BHC) program provided one-year small grants to support 17 elementary schools to implement evidence-based healthy eating and physical activity programs during 2009-2010. Each school completed school-based and community-based assessments, implemented physical activity and nutrition curriculums for students and families, and initiated running/walking programs. Some schools also implemented programs promoting parent engagement and community partnerships.

Methods: The BHC evaluation researchers collected program implementation data using online surveys and program implementation logs. We also collected program outcome data using surveys with 1,131 4th and 5th grade students in the fall (baseline) and in the spring (follow-up).

Results: The 4th and 5th grade students participating in this study reported statistically significant improvements including: healthier eating in the previous 24 hours, increased knowledge about healthy eating habits, healthy foods, and how the digestive system works, greater access to healthy food choices, stronger beliefs about the positive effects of healthy eating, more physical activity in the past week, increased knowledge about physical activity and its effects on their bodies, and stronger beliefs about the positive effects of physical activity. Additional multi-level modeling analyses with school-level and community-level variables will explain variation in program outcomes across the 17 schools including analyses of program approaches, program implementation indices, and school-context and community-context variables.

Conclusions/Discussion: The presentation will discuss lessons learned in conducting this study in partnership with BCBSM and the significance of school-based and community-based partnerships for program success.

Learning Areas:
Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Chronic disease management and prevention
Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Public health or related education

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe how parents can be engaged in school-based obesity prevention programs. 2. Describe how community organizations can support school-based obesity prevention programs. 3. Describe how parent engagement and community partnerships can influence the success of childhood obesity prevention programs.

Keywords: Children, Obesity

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been conducting program evaluation studies for over 30 years and public health program evaluations for over 10 years. I am a published author in public health and related behavioral science journals. I hold a PhD in Psychology.
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.