The Effectiveness of a Local Public Health Program to Influence Fitness and Nutrition Goals in Children
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Citation:The Ohio Journal of Science, v107, n2 (April, 2007), 10-15.
A local public health department conducted a program to improve childhood fitness and nutrition known as "A Healthier Me" (AHM). AHM is a one-hour multidisciplinary outreach program conducted for children ages 5 to 12 (n = 129). The program included a survey of 'risk behaviors' and 'fitness and nutrition goals.' AHM was effective at improving nutrition goals (7 versus 5 days per week, p <0.05) in children not exposed to excessive television watching. Children who ate fast food were 5 times more likely to excessively watch TV (95% CI 3.5, 7.5) and 3.9 times more likely to not eat 5 servings of fruits or vegetables per day (95% CI 2.9, 5.3). Children who did not eat 5 or more servings of fruits or vegetables per day were 3.2 times more likely to watch TV excessively (95% CI 1.9, 5.6). The odds of obesity was 101.5 times greater for children who do not eat 5 or more servings of fruits and vegetables per day (95% CI 2.06 to 4993.7). In children who attended AHM twice (n = 20), exercise sessions increased from 4.9 to 6.9 per week, (p = not significant); watching TV hours decreased from 4.4 to 3.2 hours per day (p <0.01), and eating fruits and vegetables increased from 5.2 to 5.6 days of the week (p = 0.06). AHM improves fitness and nutrition goals. Improving uptake of fruits and vegetables per day is extremely important in reducing obesity in children ages 5 to 12.
Author Institution: Greene County Combined Health District, Xenia
Rights:Reproduction of articles for non-commercial educational or research use granted without request if credit to The Ohio State University and The Ohio Academy of Science is given.
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