Using Family-Focused Garden, Nutrition, and Physical Activity Programs To Reduce Childhood Obesity: The Texas! Go! Eat! Grow! Pilot Study
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BACKGROUND: The TEXAS! GROW! EAT! GO! (TGEG) randomized, control trial is a 5-year study to measure the impact of a nutrition and gardening intervention and/or physical activity (PA) intervention on the weight status of third-grade students. This article describes the results of the pilot study to test the feasibility of two interventions and test the measures to be used in the main trial. METHODS: The pilot study was conducted in one school with third-grade students and their parents or guardians. The Junior Master Gardner (JMG) and Walk Across Texas (WAT) interventions were implemented over a 5-month period in three third-grade classrooms during spring 2012. The respective interventions focused on improving healthy eating and PA behaviors of children and their families. Baseline and immediate post-test data were collected from students and parents/guardians to measure four child, four parent, and four parent-child interaction behaviors. Process data regarding implementation were also collected from teachers and school administration. RESULTS: Forty-four students and 34 parents or guardians provided both pre- and post-test data. Paired-sample t-tests showed statistically significant changes in student knowledge, vegetable preferences, vegetable consumption, and home food availability (all p < 0.05). At baseline, participants' weight status categories included 57% obese, 10% overweight, and 31% normal weight. Postintervention, weight status categories included 39% obese, 16% overweight, and normal 45%. Data collected from teachers indicated high levels of implementation fidelity. CONCLUSIONS: Implementation of both interventions occurred at a very high fidelity level, which led to positive changes in BMI status, and several dietary and PA behaviors. Although the pilot study indicated feasibility of the two interventions for school implementation, results guided revisions to the TGEG program and its survey instruments.
author list (cited authors)
Spears-Lanoix, E. C., McKyer, E., Evans, A., McIntosh, W. A., Ory, M., Whittlesey, L., ... Warren, J. L.