The impact of a intervention program on the knowledge and behaviors of school-age children in Alabama regarding nutrition and physical activity
For many years, the prevalence of increased health
problems due to unhealthy eating and physical inactivity has become a huge concern. In study after study, the residents in the state of Alabama have ranked high in such dubious categories as obesity, diabetes, and lack of exercise (Trust for America's Health, 2008). This concern has gained national attention. With this in mind, organizations such as the Boys and Girls Clubs of America and the Alabama Cooperative Extension System have begun developing and implementing programs for children and youth that focus on healthy eating and being active. Nevertheless, over the past few years little has been done to develop intervention programs centered on knowledge and behaviors of school-age children in Alabama. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to assess the impact of an intervention program on the knowledge and behaviors of school-aged children who participated in two North Alabama Boys and Girls Clubs for ages 10, 11, and 12. Specifically, the study examined the degree to which CHAMPION (Community Health Aerobic Motivational Program Initiating Optimal Nutrition) increases positive nutrition knowledge and healthy physical activity behaviors. Permission and assent were obtained from 82 school-age children in two North Alabama Boys and Girls Clubs (Control, N=39; Experimental, N=43). Findings of the study indicated a positive impact on knowledge and physical activity behaviors of those participants who received the intervention (Club 1). It is recommended that more intervention programs are implemented that mirror this study.