Program

Jul 17, 2009

OVERVIEW

Superkids/Superfit is a school-based program designed to
promote cardiovascular health and prevent obesity in young children. The
program requires children to engage in aerobic activity beyond their regularly
scheduled physical education classes. In an evaluation of the program, five
classrooms in southern Thailand were randomly assigned to have their children
participate in either the Superkids/Superfit intervention or in a no-treatment
control group. Results indicated that there were no differences across
intervention and control groups on changes in BMI or skinfold thickness.

DESCRIPTION OF PROGRAM

Target population: Elementary school children.

The Superkids/Superfit program is a school-based
intervention designed to promote cardiovascular health and prevent obesity in
young children. The program integrates aerobic activity into the children’s
daily school routine. The intervention is implemented three days a week and
requires children to participate in a 15-minute walk before morning classes and
a 20-minute aerobic dance session following the afternoon nap. The intervention
is implemented over the course of eight months. Exercise sessions are
implemented as an addition to the children’s regularly scheduled physical
education classes.

EVALUATION(S) OF PROGRAM

Mo-suwan, L., Pongprapai, S., Junjana, C., & Puetpaiboon,
A. (1998). Effects of a controlled trial of a school-based exercise program on
the obesity indexes of preschool children. American Journal of Clinical
Nutrition, 68,
1006-1011.

Evaluated population: 292 kindergarten children
attending two schools in southern Thailand served as the sample for this
evaluation.

Approach: Classrooms within each of the two schools
were randomly assigned to have their children participate in either the
Superkids/Superfit intervention or in a no-treatment control group. The
intervention children also continued to participate in their regularly scheduled
physical education classes. Children in the control group did not engage in any
extra school-based physical activity beyond their regularly scheduled PE
classes.

Children were assessed at baseline, 3 months into the
intervention, 5 months into the intervention, and at the conclusion of the
intervention period. Children were measured for height and weight (used to
calculate BMI and the weight to height ratio) and skinfold thickness.

Results: Results indicated that, for the overall
sample, there were no significant differences across intervention and control
groups on changes in BMI or skinfold thickness. However, there were gender by
intervention effects that neared significance. Specifically, girls in the
exercise groups had lower BMI’s after the intervention relative to girls in the
control group (small effect size of -.29). In contrast, boys in the
intervention had higher BMI’s at the follow-up than did boys in the control
group (very small effect size of .11). Additionally, compared to their
counterparts in the control group, girls in the intervention were significantly
less likely to have increasing BMI’s at follow-up (medium effect size of -.63).

SOURCES FOR MORE INFORMATION

Link to program website:

http://tulane.edu/som/cardiohealth/supkid.cfm

References:

Mo-suwan, L., Pongprapai, S., Junjana, C., & Puetpaiboon,
A. (1998). Effects of a controlled trial of a school-based exercise program on
the obesity indexes of preschool children. American Journal of Clinical
Nutrition, 68,
1006-1011.

KEYWORDS: Children, Kindergarten, Co-ed, Asian,
School-based, Skills Training, Urban, Obesity/Weight, Manual Is Available.

Program information last updated on 7/17/09.