A community-based program improves body composition and cardiovascular fitness among underserved children: The Athletes for Life study
Wednesday, November 4, 2015
: 10:50 a.m. - 11:10 a.m.
Introduction: There is a need for effective community-based approaches for improving cardiovascular fitness (CVF) for underserved populations. The purpose of this study was to test the preliminary efficacy of Athletes for Life (AFL). Methods: AFL was a 12-week program in which families attended sessions 2x/week for 90-min at a community center located in an underserved community. AFL included a variety of activities aimed to improve fitness and sport skills. The intervention also included a parent component and used behavior change strategies to help families learn to maintain their physical activity participation. This study reports preliminary findings from the first cohort of AFL participants. Thirty-three children 6-11 y old were randomized to an intervention or wait-listed control group. Pre-/post- measures included demographics, anthropometrics, 1-mile run and a 3-minute step test. ANCOVA tested for post-data group differences, adjusting for baseline values. Results: Eighty-five percent of children completed the program. Children were 9.2±1.7y, 94% Latino/Hispanic, 54% male and 58% overweight/obese. Relative to the control group, children in the intervention group had significantly lower post %body fat via DEXA (34.4±0.3 vs. 35.4±0.3; p=0.03), trend towards lower BMI (21.3±1.3 vs. 21.7 kg/m2; p=0.06), with no differences in waist circumference. There were also trends towards improvement in 1-mile run time (9.6±0.4 vs. 10.9±0.4 min; p=0.07) and step-test mean heart rate (133.5±1.7 vs. 138.5±1.7; p=0.05) in the intervention group compared to the control group. Conclusions: These preliminary results suggest AFL could help improve body composition and CVF among underserved children who participated in AFL.
Diversity and culture
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Social and behavioral sciences
Describe the development and evaluation of a community-based program to improve cardiovascular fitness among underserved children
Keyword(s): Physical Activity, Community-Based Research (CBPR)
Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the principal investigator of a community-based research project and have many years experience conducting behavioral research
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.