2010 - Research

Effective multi-level, multi-sector, school-based obesity prevention programming improves weight, blood pressure, and academic performance, especially among low-income, minority children

This is is a study of how successfully addressing childhood onset obesity requires multilevel (individual, community, and governmental), multi-agency collaboration.

  • The Healthier Options for Public Schoolchildren (HOPS)/OrganWise Guys (OWG) quasi-experimental controlled pilot study (four intervention schools, one control school, total N=3,769; 50.2% Hispanic) was an elementary school-based obesity prevention intervention designed to keep children at a normal, healthy weight, and improve health status and academic achievement. The HOPS/OWG included the following replicable, holistic components: (1) modified dietary offerings, (2) nutrition/lifestyle educational curricula; (3) physical activity component; and (4) wellness projects. Demographic, anthropometric (body mass index [BMI]), blood pressure, and academic data were collected during the two-year study period (2004-6).
  • Statistically significant improvements in BMI, blood pressure, and academic scores, among low-income Hispanic and White children in particular, were seen in the intervention versus controls.
  • Holistic school-based obesity prevention interventions can improve health outcomes and academic performance, in particular among high-risk populations.

Hollar, D, Lombardo, M, Lopez-Mitnik, G, Hollar, TL, Almon, M, Agatston, AS, Messiah, SE. “Effective multi-level, multi-sector, school-based obesity prevention programming improves weight, blood pressure, and academic performance, especially among low-income, minority children.” Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved. 21.Suppl2 (2010):93-108.