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Keywords:

  • Appalachia;
  • child health;
  • obesity;
  • schools

Abstract

Purpose.  This study tested a mentoring model that paired trained teens with younger children in an after-school setting to deliver a curriculum aimed at promoting healthier patterns of dietary intake and physical activity.

Design and Methods.  Using a pretest–posttest design, group comparisons were made. Descriptive, independent, and paired t-test analyses with Bonferroni corrections were conducted in a sample of 72 children.

Results.  Group differences were noted with the intention to eat healthfully. Mentored children demonstrated greater improvement in knowledge, attitudes, efficacy, perceived support, and body mass index (BMI).

Practice Implications.  Teen mentors can effectively impact children's intention to improve health behaviors, which is foundational to normalizing BMI.