Program

Jan 27, 2009

OVERVIEW

The Untitled Lifestyle-Focused Physical Activity
Intervention is a school-based program geared towards increasing physical
activity, reducing body fat, and improving fasting insulin and glucose levels in
overweight, middle school children. The program encourages children to make
lifestyle changes in their road to becoming healthy. In an evaluation of the
program, 50 overweight children were randomly assigned to either receive the
intervention or to a standard physical education class control group. Results
indicated that children in the intervention group exhibited significant
decreases in body fat, increases in cardiovascular fitness and maximum oxygen
consumption, and improvements in insulin and glucose levels relative to control
participants.

DESCRIPTION OF PROGRAM

Target population: overweight middle school
children.

The Untitled Lifestyle-Focused Physical Activity
Intervention is a school-based program designed to increase physical activity,
reduce body fat, and improve fasting insulin and glucose levels in overweight
children. The program is comprised of a nutrition and a physical activity
component. The nutrition component provides participants with educational
material based on the Food Guide Pyramid’s recommendations for healthy eating.
The physical activity component is administered during the children’s normally
scheduled physical education classes. The program curriculum differs from
standard classes in that it takes the emphasis away from competitive games and
instead encourages lifestyle oriented activities, such as walking and cycling.
Classes also are personalized to match the student’s skill levels and encourage
student participation. The intervention is implemented five times every two
weeks in 45 minute sessions over a period nine-month period.

EVALUATION(S) OF PROGRAM

Carrel, A.L., Clark, R.R., Peterson, S.E., Nemeth, B.A.,
Sullivan, J., & Allen, D.B. (2005). Improvement of fitness, body composition,
and insulin sensitivity in overweight children in a school-based exercise
program. Archives of Pediatric & Adolescent Medicine, 159,963-967.

Evaluated population: Fifty overweight children
attending a rural middle school in the Midwestern United States served as the
sample for this evaluation. The children had body mass indexes above the 95th
percentile for age, and the sample was 48% female.

Approach: All children completed baseline
assessments in which their body fat, maximum oxygen consumption, and insulin and
glucose levels were tested. Participants then were randomly assigned to either
the intervention or the control group. The students in the intervention group
participated in the lifestyle-focused physical activity intervention described
in detail above. The students in the control group participated in their normal
physical education classes. Children were again measured for body fat,
cardiovascular fitness, maximum oxygen consumption, and insulin and glucose
levels immediately following the conclusion of the intervention.

Results: Results indicated that immediately
following the intervention, students in the intervention group experienced
significantly greater decreases in body fat percentage, increases in
cardiovascular fitness and maximum oxygen consumption, and improvements in
insulin and glucose levels relative to control participants.

SOURCES FOR MORE INFORMATION

References:

Carrel, A.L., Clark, R.R., Peterson, S.E., Nemeth, B.A.,
Sullivan, J., & Allen, D.B. (2005). Improvement of fitness, body composition,
and insulin sensitivity in overweight children in a school-based exercise
program. Archives of Pediatric & Adolescent Medicine, 159,963-967.

KEYWORDS: Middle Childhood (6-11), Adolescence (12-17),
Middle School, School-based, Physical Health, Nutrition, Overweight, Obese,
Rural

Program information last updated on 1/27/09.

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