Online Program

Mayor's fitness council student ambassador program—evaluating a school-based obesity prevention initiative, san antonio, Texas, 2012-2013

Tuesday, November 5, 2013 : 11:06 a.m. - 11:18 a.m.

Christina Dahlstrom, M.P.H, San Antonio Metropolitan Health District, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, San Antonio, TX
Liset Leal-Vasquez, PhD, RD, LD, CHES, College Of Education And Kinesiology, Texas A&M University San Antonio, Helotes, TX
Christine Rutherford-Stuart, M.P.H., Metro Health, San Antonio Metropolitan Health District, San Antonio, TX
Childhood obesity is a serious public health problem facing San Antonio, Texas, with 2010 Youth Risk Behavior Survey data showing that approximately 33% of adolescents are overweight or obese. Schools can play a critical role in improving healthy eating and physical activity through obesity prevention programs targeting students, families, and community members. The purpose of the Student Ambassador Program is to allow students the opportunity to represent the Mayor's Fitness Council, an obesity prevention initiative, by promoting healthy living at their schools and in their communities. Thirty-five Student Ambassadors in grades 5 to 12 were selected from schools across San Antonio. Through the Student Ambassador Program, students are trained on physical activity, nutrition, advocacy, and leadership. Students complete a needs assessment of their schools and communities to inform the development of a project to improve nutrition and physical activity. In spring 2013, the first cohort of Student Ambassadors will complete their school-based obesity prevention projects. Evaluation data will be presented on Student Ambassadors' physical activity and nutrition behaviors, participation in community physical activity opportunities, and youth leadership. Baseline data indicates that 40% of Student Ambassadors eat 5 or more servings of fruits and vegetables per day and 25% are physically active for 60 minutes or more per day. Evaluation data will be presented on the reach and impact of Student Ambassadors' projects on students, families, and community members. Youth-led obesity prevention initiatives, such as the Student Ambassador Program, can promote physical activity and healthy eating at schools and in communities.

Learning Areas:

Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs

Learning Objectives:
Describe an innovative youth-led school-based obesity prevention program that positions students to promote and empower healthy eating and physical activity among their peers. Describe the evaluation results of the progress toward achieving Student Ambassador Program objectives. Explain implications for implementing youth led obesity prevention initiatives in other communities and schools in the United States.

Keyword(s): Obesity, School-Based Programs

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the project manager for the Mayor's Fitness Council, an obesity prevention initiative, in which I am responsible for overseeing the Student Ambassador Program. I have experience in program planning, implementation, and evaluation.
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.