The impact of a 3-year after-school obesity prevention program in elementary school children

Zenong Yin, Justin B. Moore, Maribeth H. Johnson, Marlo M. Vernon, Bernard Gutin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

31 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: Children tend to be sedentary during the after-school hours, and this has deleterious effects on their health. The objective of the present study was to determine the effects of a 3-year after-school physical activity (PA) program, without restriction of dietary energy intake, on percent body fat (%BF), cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF), and cardiometabolic markers in children. Methods: A cluster randomization design was employed. A total of 574 3 rd grade children from 18 elementary schools in the southeastern United States participated. The intervention consisted of 80 minutes of age-appropriate moderate-to-vigorous PA each school day. The main outcomes of interest were %BF measured by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry; CRF measured by heart rate in response to a submaximal step test; nonfasting total and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C); and resting blood pressure (BP). Results: Intent-to-treat analyses showed significant treatment by time interactions for %BF (p = 0.009) and CRF (p = 0.0003). The change pattern of the means suggested that %BF and CRF in intervention children improved relative to control children during the school months, rebounding to the levels of control children over the summers following years 1 and 2. Year-by-year analyses of what occurred during the months when the program was offered revealed dose-response relations for %BF and CRF, such that the clearest beneficial effects were seen for those youth who attended at least 60% of the after-school sessions. No significant intervention effects were seen for cholesterol or BP. Conclusions: An after-school PA program was effective in reducing adiposity and improving CRF, especially in the children who attended the sessions at least 3 days/week. However, the favorable effects on %BF and CRF were lost over the summer. Thus, it is critical to incorporate strategies that attract and retain the children to receive an adequate dose of PA year-round. Trial Registration: Clinicaltrials.gov number, NCT00061841.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)60-70
Number of pages11
JournalChildhood Obesity
Volume8
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2012

Fingerprint

Obesity
Exercise
Southeastern United States
Blood Pressure
Photon Absorptiometry
Adiposity
Random Allocation
Cardiorespiratory Fitness
Energy Intake
Exercise Test
HDL Cholesterol
Adipose Tissue
Heart Rate
Cholesterol
Health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Nutrition and Dietetics

Cite this

The impact of a 3-year after-school obesity prevention program in elementary school children. / Yin, Zenong; Moore, Justin B.; Johnson, Maribeth H.; Vernon, Marlo M.; Gutin, Bernard.

In: Childhood Obesity, Vol. 8, No. 1, 01.02.2012, p. 60-70.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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