Online Program

Prescription Education for School- and Community-Level Improvements in Knowledge and Behavior Choices Related to Fitness and Nutrition

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Purpose: Integrated Science Education Outreach (InSciEd Out) partners with teachers and students, with a focus on underserved populations, to enhance hypothesis driven science and problem solving. mayo Curriculum is cooperatively designed for empowering students to make healthier decisions, for this study called Prescription Education (PE). One critical focus for PE is fitness and nutrition (FN) due to the alarming increase in obesity within the last 30 years, particularly among marginalized populations.

Methods: The PE-FN curriculum intervention was performed with a nonrandomized cohort of more than 500 3rd/4th grade students in a multi-school setting. Surveys about behavioral choices in FN as well as Talking Drawings were administered pre/post implementation of the PE-FN curriculum. A novel quantitative and qualitative analysis was performed on the Talking Drawings on each school- and grade-level cohort, revealing not only student content knowledge, but also emergence of language indicative of early critical health literacy post PE-FN. 4thgrade students from the cohort were able to apply their knowledge to motivate adult volunteers in a FN intervention for 16 consented adult participants in each community of this study. The value of student motivation was assessed through a questionnaire completed by the adult participants and through Body Mass Index assessments pre/post the six-week program. The latter study seeks to measure the influence of PE on community-level change beyond the classroom.

Results/findings: Initial metrics (from pilot year 2013-2014) demonstrate a positive shift in content knowledge and scientific capacity of students who complete PE-FN curriculum. Talking Drawing assessments displayed a cohort-level shift in post module responses with increased integration of activity and nutrition in student description of fitness.  Statistical analysis of the student surveys and reporting of adult participant outcomes will follow the completion of the 2014-2015 PE-FN curriculum.

Conclusions: Together, these results suggest that curriculum based interventions with a science foundation can improve healthy behavior choices related to FN in both schools and the broader community that support a healthier lifestyle, including reducing rates of obesity.  Future longitudinal studies will be needed to assess maintenance and longevity of behavior changes and knowledge in students and broader communities.

Learning Areas:

Chronic disease management and prevention
Diversity and culture
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs

Learning Objectives:
Explain talking drawings and compare with other formative assessments of health literacy.

Keyword(s): Health Literacy, School-Based Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am part of the research team that coined the term and research platform for "Prescription Education" following the impact of education on student and community health. I have received grants as a co-investigator under this framework and am drafting papers fro publication using the Prescription Education model. I helped implement the specific fitness and nutrition intervention in schools described in this abstract.
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.