256156 Implementation Results of a School-Based Obesity Prevention Strategy

Tuesday, October 30, 2012 : 2:45 PM - 3:00 PM

Constantine Daskalakis, ScD , Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA
Jocelyn Andrel, MSPH , Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA
Elizabeth Rappaport, MD , Department of Family and Community Medicine, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA
Background. School-based interventions are a potential weapon against the continuing increase of overweight and obesity among children in the United States. Purpose. We present implementation results of a school-based intervention that has been reported to have a modest impact among children in grades 5-7. Methods. The School Nutrition Policy Initiative (SNPI) was a multi-component intervention, conducted as a cluster-randomized trial in an urban public school setting. Intervention elements included school self-assessment (School Health Index, SHI, each module scored on 100-point scale); nutrition education for staff (target ~10 hrs/teacher); nutrition education instruction to students (target ~50 hrs/student); changes to school nutrition policies; social marketing; and family and community involvement. Results. The SNPI involved five intervention and five control schools (grades K-8), with 89% minority students (53% African Americans, 19% Hispanics, 15% Asian Americans). SHI scores for family and community involvement increased by 6 points in the intervention and decreased by 9 points in the control schools, but changes in other SHI modules were similar in the two groups. About two thirds of the school staff received some nutrition education training (average = 5 hrs/teacher), while less than half of the school staff provided any nutrition education to students (average = 35 hrs/student), with more than half of it delivered in kindergarten and first grade. Conclusions. The process metrics suggest that implementation of complex interventions in urban public school settings may be uneven. Consequently, the effect of interventions may be modest overall and may differentially affect specific age groups.

Learning Areas:
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs

Learning Objectives:
Describe the implementation results of a school-based nutrition education intervention on overweight and obesity. Assess the implications for the impact of such school-based nutrition education interventions on children's overweight and obesity.

Keywords: Children and Adolescents, Obesity

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am an Associate Professor of Family and Community Medicine and have conducted basic and clinical research in endocrinology and metabolism and in public health, most recently with a focus on prevention of childhood obesity. I am principal investigator of the project described in this paper.I have multiple national presentations and peer reviewed articles in this area.
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.