Program

Jun 04, 2013

OVERVIEW

This two-part educational curriculum aims to prevent disordered weight-control behaviors (laxative use, diet pills, self-induced vomiting) in middle school students. A random assignment study found that girls participating in the intervention were significantly less likely to present new disordered weight-control behaviors at the 18-month follow-up.  However, the study found that, while the effect size changed less than 10 percent, the results became non-significant at the 18-month follow-up when controlling for demographic factors. No significant results were found for boys.

DESCRIPTION OF PROGRAM

Target Population: middle school students

5-2-1 Go! is an intervention designed to improve nutrition, increase physical activity, and reduce the prevalence of overweight adolescents. 5-2-1 Go! is made up of two components: the Planet Health curriculum and the School Health Index for Physical Activity and Health Eating: A Self-Assessment and Planning Guide, Middle/High School Version (SHI).

The Planet Health curriculum is taught in students’ main subject area and physical education classes and includes information on physical activity, television viewing, and consumption of fruits, vegetables and fats.

SHI also contains multiple modules on nutrition and physical activity from a school perspective, for example, improving the school’s nutrition services and physical education, as well as school policies and environment.

EVALUATIONS OF PROGRAM

Austin, S. B., Kim, J., Wiecha, J., Troped, P.J., Feldman, H. A., & Peterson, K. E. (2007). School-based overweight preventive intervention lowers incidence of disordered weight-control behaviors in early adolescent girls. Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine, 161(9), 865-869.

Evaluated Population: Sixteen middle schools, stratified by type and racial/ethnic composition, were randomly assigned to either the 5-2-1 Go! intervention or a control group. After assignment, three schools dropped out of the study. A total of 13 schools participated in the program; six in the intervention group and seven in the control group.

Students were the unit of analysis. All sixth and seventh graders in the 13 schools were considered eligible for the study.  All together, 1,839 students were evaluated, and 1,664 completed the follow-up survey. After excluding individuals for missing data or disordered weight-control behaviors at baseline, 1,451 students were included in analyses.

The sample was 48 percent male and 52 percent female. Fifty-six percent of the students were in grade six while 44 percent were in grade seven. The sample was mostly white (87 percent) with small percentages of African American students (4 percent), Hispanic students (6 percent), or students reported being of an Other race (3 percent). About one-third of the sample (32 percent) was overweight.

Approach:  Schools were randomly assigned to either the intervention or the control group.  Individuals within the randomly assigned schools then participated in the intervention or control group. Control group participants received the first module of SHI.  The control group schools were also asked to make an action plan and report on progress towards that plan. Analyses adjusted for clustering and school-level characteristics.

Both groups of students participated in a baseline self-report questionnaire and a follow-up questionnaire 18 months later. The questionnaires addressed physical activity, sedentary behaviors, diet, and disordered weight-control behaviors.

Results: At the 18-month follow-up, fewer girls in intervention schools than girls in control schools reported new disordered weight-control behaviors (1.2 percent compared with 3.6 percent). This initial model accounted for school-level baseline prevalence of disordered behavior, sex, and an intervention-sex interaction term. When additional controls for grade, race/ethnicity, and being overweight were included, the difference was no longer statistically significant. The program had no impact on boys.

SOURCES FOR MORE INFORMATION

References:

Austin, S. B., Kim, J., Wiecha, J., Troped, P.J., Feldman, H. A., & Peterson, K. E. (2007). School-based overweight preventive intervention lowers incidence of disordered weight-control behaviors in early adolescent girls. Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine, 161(9), 865-869.

KEYWORDS: Adolescents (12-17), Middle School, Males and Females (Co-ed), School-based, Eating Disorders, Health Status/Conditions

Program information last updated on February 26, 2013.