Numerous interventions have been designed to modify children's physical activity and eating behaviors. While early research centered on the individual as the target of intervention, more recent work targets change in the environment. These studies have consistently supported the importance of environmental contributors to both physical activity and eating behavior, but little research has considered those who are responsible for implementing environmental change. For example, if we expect school environments to support activity and healthy eating, we must consider the motivation of school administrators to affect change. This review will present examples of an ecological approach to behavior change along with recent data to support this approach.
Bartholomew is with the Department of Kinesiology and Health Education at the University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX.