142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition

Annual Meeting Recordings are now available for purchase

Texas Grow, Eat, Grow (TGEG): A promising child obesity prevention effort

142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition (November 15 - November 19, 2014): http://www.apha.org/events-and-meetings/annual
Monday, November 17, 2014 : 12:50 PM - 1:10 PM

Omolola Adepoju, PhD, MPH , United Health Group, Richmond, TX
Marcia Ory, PhD, MPH , Health Promotion and Community Health Sciences, Texas A&M HSC School of Rural Public Health, College Station, TX
Judith Warren, PhD , Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, College Station, TX
Lijuanzi Li , Health Promotion and Community Health Sciences,, Texas A&M HSC School of Rural Public Health, College Station
Alexandra Evans, PhD , Michael & Susan Dell Center for Healthy Living, University of Texas School of Public Health, Austin Regional Campus, Austin, TX
Objective:The goal of this Integrated Research and Extension project was to assess the efficacy of a coordinated school health (CSH) program in reducing child overweight and obesity levels among 3rd grade students and the potential medical expenditure savings from such intervention.

Methods: Third grade students in one title 1 low-income elementary school were selected to receive the home food and physical activity interventions through two Extension programs designed to build upon CSH: (1) the Junior Master Gardener (JMG) and (2) Walk Across Texas (WAT). Anthropometric measurements were made prior to the intervention and post intervention. Age- and sex- standardized BMI charts were used to categorize BMI measures as normal, overweight or obese. We examined the combined effects of JMG and WAT, and the potential medical expenditure savings following both interventions. Thirty-seven students reported pre and post measurements during the study period (Sept 2011- May 2012).

Findings: The average age was 8.3 among normal weight children, 8.4 among overweight children and 8.7 among obese children. Paired t-tests revealed statistically significant reductions in the BMI measurements (p=0.01) post intervention. Cost assessments using the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey data estimates indicated an average of $2,236 per child in the pre-intervention phase and $1,940 in the post-intervention phase based on pilot data. 

Implications: TGEG has the potential to produce meaningful reductions in BMI levels. The preliminary cost results are encouraging and we anticipate demonstrating statistically significantly different cost savings in the full-scale implementation to 1600 students.

Learning Areas:

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

Learning Objectives:
Demonstrate whether promising Extension family-focused programs can increase the efficacy of coordinated school health programs to impact childhood obesity

Keyword(s): Built Environment, Child Health Promotion

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been the principal investigator or co-PI of multiple federally funded grants addressing chronic diseases in rural and underserved areas.
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.