This study was funded by a 2010-2013 Carol M. White Physical Education Program grant from the US Department of Education's Office of Safe and Drug Free Schools.
Preliminary Assessment of a School-Based Healthy Lifestyle Intervention Among Rural Elementary School Children
Article first published online: 11 MAR 2014
© 2014, American School Health Association
Journal of School Health
Volume 84, Issue 4, pages 247–255, April 2014
How to Cite
Ling, J., King, K. M., Speck, B. J., Kim, S. and Wu, D. (2014), Preliminary Assessment of a School-Based Healthy Lifestyle Intervention Among Rural Elementary School Children. Journal of School Health, 84: 247–255. doi: 10.1111/josh.12143
- Issue published online: 11 MAR 2014
- Article first published online: 11 MAR 2014
- Manuscript Accepted: 22 APR 2013
- Manuscript Revised: 6 MAR 2013
- Manuscript Received: 20 AUG 2012
- US Department of Education's Office of Safe and Drug Free Schools
- physical activity;
- rural health;
- elementary schools;
Childhood obesity has become a national public health crisis in America. Physical inactivity and unhealthy eating behaviors may contribute to the childhood obesity epidemic. School-based healthy lifestyle interventions play a promising role in preventing and controlling childhood obesity. A comprehensive school-based healthy lifestyle intervention was implemented in 4 rural elementary schools in Kentucky.
The intervention included 4 goals: improving physical education, health education, family/community involvement, and school wellness policies. Children's physical activity was assessed by pedometer, and nutrition was assessed by a previous day recall survey in January (baseline), February (t1), March (t2), April (t3), and May (t4) of 2011.
The intervention had significant effects on increasing the percentages of children meeting physical activity (1% vs 5%, p < .01) and nutrition (15% vs 26%, p < .01) recommendations. The effects of the intervention on physical activity and nutrition depended on school, grade, and age of the children. There was an increasing linear trend of physical activity and an increasing quadratic trend of nutrition over time among children.
The intervention had beneficial effects in improving healthy behaviors among children. Further studies are needed to assess its long-term effects and cost-effectiveness.