alexa "Eat Healthy, Stay Active!": a coordinated intervention to improve nutrition and physical activity among Head Start parents, staff, and children.


Journal of Addiction Research & Therapy

Author(s): Herman A, Nelson BB, Teutsch C, Chung PJ

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Abstract PURPOSE: Examine the effectiveness of the "Eat Healthy, Stay Active!" pilot program, a multisite, 6-month educational intervention to promote healthy nutrition and physical activity among Head Start staff, parents, and children. DESIGN: Comparison of within-group preintervention and postintervention knowledge and behavior, along with anthropomorphic measurements. SETTING: The study was conducted in a convenience sample of six large Head Start agencies in five states. SUBJECTS: Participants included 496 staff, 438 parents, and 112 preschool children. INTERVENTION: The 6-month intervention consisted of core trainings and reinforcing activities for staff and parents that aligned with children's curricula. MEASURES: Pre-post questionnaires and anthropometric measurements examined changes in body mass index (BMI), knowledge, and behaviors related to nutrition and physical activity. ANALYSIS: Paired t-tests to compare preintervention and postintervention weights and BMI; multiple regression analyses to examine associations between weight changes and other covariates, including knowledge and behavior changes, controlling for sociodemographic variables. RESULTS: Each group of participants demonstrated significant reductions in BMI (mean = 30.1 to 29.2; p < .001 in adults and 17.0 to 16.6; p < 0.001 in children) and in the proportion of obese children (30\% to 21\%; p < .001) and adults (45\% to 40\%; p < .001). Child weight changes correlated with parent weight changes. CONCLUSION: This intervention showed promising initial results, with potential effectiveness as an intervention to promote healthier behaviors among adults and children in Head Start settings. This article was published in Am J Health Promot and referenced in Journal of Addiction Research & Therapy

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