This pilot study examined the feasibility of an interactive obesity prevention program delivered to a class of fourth-grade students utilizing daily e-mail messages sent to the students’ home computers. The study involved a single intact class of 22 students, 17 (77%) of whom submitted parental permission documentation and received e-mail messages each school day over the course of one month. Concerns regarding Internet safety and children’s use of e-mail were addressed fairly easily. Cost/benefit issues for the school did not seem prohibitive. Providing e-mail access to students without a home computer was accomplished by loaning them personal digital assistant (PDA) devices. In larger interventions, loaning PDAs is probably not feasible economically, although cell phones may be an acceptable alternative. It was concluded that this type of interactive obesity prevention program is feasible from most perspectives. Data from a larger scale effectiveness study is still needed.
Scott Owens, Laurel Lambert, Suzanne McDonough, Kenneth Green, and Mark Loftin
Danielle Arigo, Paul Rohde, Heather Shaw, and Eric Stice
Moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) is critical for maintaining a healthy weight, although little is known about psychological barriers to maintaining MVPA in at-risk groups. Identifying characteristics associated with poor MVPA maintenance in obesity prevention programs could improve participant outcomes.
Toward this end, we examined predictors of MVPA in an obesity prevention trial for college students at risk for weight gain (n = 333; 72% female, mean BMI = 23.4 kg/m2). Participants engaged in 1 of 3 weight control interventions and in 4 assessments over 12-month follow-up (ie, measured height/weight, self-reports of psychosocial characteristics, 4 days of accelerometer wear).
Multilevel modeling analyses showed that across conditions, participants decreased total MVPA minutes per week over 12 months (B = –5.48, P < .01). Baseline self-report scores for both impulsiveness and cognitive dissonance regarding engaging in unhealthy behaviors negatively predicted MVPA over time. Participants higher (vs. lower) in baseline impulsiveness (B = –6.89, P = .03) and dissonance (B = –4.10, P = .04) began the study with more MVPA minutes, but showed sharper declines over time.
Targeted MVPA-focused intervention for students who show elevated impulsiveness and cognitive dissonance may improve both MVPA and weight control outcomes for these individuals.
Julie DiMatteo, Cynthia Radnitz, Katharine L. Loeb, and Jingwen Ni
consumers ( Choi, Laibson, Madrain, & Metrick, 2003 ). Default choices are preselected but also allow for opt-out selections ( Radnitz et al., 2013 ). Applying this definition to obesity prevention means setting nonobesogenic defaults in the environment to promote healthy and easier, if not automatic
Sasha A. Fleary, Robin Mehl, and Claudio Nigg
Background: Health behaviors in childhood and adolescence are implicated in health behaviors and chronic disease risk in adulthood for the majority of the US population. However, little is known about these relationships in Hawaiian youth. This study investigated the extent to which childhood physical activity (PA) and fruit and vegetable consumption behaviors predicted later behaviors across a 10-year period in Hawaiian youth. Methods: Three cohorts of fourth- to sixth-grade students who participated in an elementary after-school program (Fun 5) provided baseline data (Y1—data collected between 2003 and 2007), 5-year (Y5—data collected between 2008 and 2012), and 10-year (Y10—data collected between 2013 and 2017) follow-up surveys. Demographic, PA, and fruit and vegetable consumption measures were completed at all 3 time points. Bivariate and multiple regressions were computed in 2018. Results: Y1 and Y5 behavior predicted PA in young adulthood. For fruit and vegetable consumption, Y1 behavior predicted Y5 behavior but not Y10 behavior, and Y5 behavior predicted Y10 behaviors. Conclusions: Similar to mainland US youth, it is important to address PA and nutrition early in the life span for Hawaiian youth to increase long-term preventive health behaviors and reduce long-term chronic disease risk.
Virginia Rall Chomitz, Denise Burke Aske, Julia McDonald, Howard Cabral, and Karen Ann Hacker
There is growing recognition of the importance of recreational space utilization for promoting physical activity (PA) among youth.
An cross-sectional study was conducted with a sample of 926 diverse 6th-8th grade students in Somerville, MA. Participants completed the 2007 Youth Risk Surveillance Survey (YRBS). Chi-square testing and logistical regression modeling were performed to predict meeting national PA recommendations for moderate, vigorous, and 60 minutes or more (60+) PA.
The participants reported meeting recommended PA levels for moderate (27%), vigorous (70%) and 60+ (21%) PA. In multivariate analysis, being male and speaking English were significantly associated with meeting all 3 PA recommendations. Recreational spaces significantly associated with meeting PA recommendations included neighborhood parks and walk/bike paths, playing fields and courts, and recreational centers. Recreational space utilization varied by gender, race/ethnicity, and language.
Recreational space utilization was an important predictor of meeting PA recommendations among middle school students. Our results showed that PA attainment and recreational space utilization varied by demographic characteristics. The role of each recreational space in predicting PA varied depending on the outcome used. This study demonstrates the potential use of YRBS data to inform resource allocation for PA promotion in diverse communities.
Elizabeth E. Dawson-Hahn, Megan D. Fesinmeyer, and Jason A. Mendoza
Physical activity is associated with long-term benefits for health and tracks from early childhood into later adolescence. Limited information exists about factors influencing physical activity among Latino preschoolers. We aimed to identify correlates of objectively measured light-to-vigorous-intensity physical activity as a proportion of wear time (% PA) in Latino 3–5 year olds.
Latino preschoolers (n = 96) were recruited from Head Start centers in Houston, TX, USA, from 2009 to 2010. Sociodemographics, anthropometrics, acculturation, neighborhood disorder, and TV viewing were measured. Actigraph GT1M accelerometers measured physical activity. Block linear regression was used with % PA as the dependent variable.
Children achieved 285.7 ± 58.0 min/day of PA. In the final adjusted-model, child age, parental education and neighborhood disorder were positively associated with % PA (beta = 0.33, p = .002; beta = 0.25, p = .038; beta = 0.22, p = .039, respectively). TV viewing was inversely associated with % PA (beta=-0.23, p = .027).
The majority of Latino preschoolers in our study exceeded US national and international guidelines of physical activity duration. Future interventions to sustain physical activity should focus on the influence of age, socioeconomic status, neighborhood disorder, and TV viewing on Latino preschoolers’ attainment of physical activity.
Rachel A. Jones, Jacque Kelly, Dylan P. Cliff, Marijka Batterham, and Anthony D. Okely
Single sex after-school physical activity programs show potential to prevent unhealthy weight gain. The aim of this study was to assess the acceptability and potential efficacy of single-sex after-school physical activity programs for overweight and at-risk children from low-income communities.
7-month, 2-arm parallel-group, RCT, conducted at an elementary school in a disadvantaged area in Wollongong, Australia (March-November 2010).
20 boys and 17 girls were randomized to intervention (PA) or active comparison groups (HL). Primary outcomes included implementation, acceptability, percentage body fat and BMI z-score.
The PA programs were acceptable with high implementation and enjoyment rates. At 7 months postintervention girls in the PA group displayed greater changes in percentage body fat (adjust diff. = -1.70, [95% CI -3.25, -0.14]; d = -0.83) and BMI z-score (-0.19 [-0.36, -0.03]; d= -1.00). At 7 months boys in the PA group showed greater changes in waist circumference (-3.87 cm [-7.80, 0.15]; d= -0.90) and waist circumference z-score (-0.33 [-0.64, -0.03]; d= -0.98). For both boys’ and girls’ PA groups, changes in adiposity were not maintained at 12-month follow-up.
Single-sex after-school physical activity programs are acceptable and potentially efficacious in preventing unhealthy weight gain among overweight and at-risk children. However improvements are hard to sustain once programs finish operating.
Victoria Catenacci, Christopher Barrett, Lorraine Odgen, Ray Browning, Christine Adele Schaefer, James Hill, and Holly Wyatt
The America on the Move (AOM) Family Intervention Program has been shown to prevent excess weight gain in overweight children. Providing intervention materials via the internet would have the potential to reach more families but may increase sedentary behavior. The purpose was to evaluate whether delivering the AOM Family Intervention via the internet versus printed workbook would have a similar impact on sedentary behaviors in children.
131 children (age 8–12) were randomized to receive the AOM Family Intervention via the internet or workbook for 12 weeks. Changes in objectively measured sedentary time and moderate-to vigorous physical activity (MVPA) as well as self-reported screen time were compared between groups.
There were no significant differences between groups in screen time, sedentary time, or MVPA at the end of the 12 week intervention. Families receiving the intervention via the internet were more likely to remain in the study (98% vs. 82%, P = .016).
Using the internet to deliver the lifestyle intervention did not increase sedentary behavior in children. Attrition rates were lower when the program was delivered by internet versus via printed materials. These results provide support for using the internet to deliver healthy lifestyle programs for children.
Sandy J. Slater, Anmol Sanghera, Yadira Herrera, and Jamie F. Chriqui
which makes it an ideal setting for developing and implementing obesity prevention efforts. This study examined how regional- and state-level Head Start offices facilitated the implementation of the recently updated PA requirement within the teaching and the learning environment Head Start Program
Sarah G. Sanders, Elizabeth Yakes Jimenez, Natalie H. Cole, Alena Kuhlemeier, Grace L. McCauley, M. Lee Van Horn, and Alberta S. Kong
reported, resulting in widely varying estimates of average daily MVPA. 8 – 13 The objective of this study is to describe the PA levels measured by wrist accelerometer in a group of 930 adolescents at baseline of an obesity prevention and weight management cluster-randomized controlled clinical trial in