Physical activity and nutrition behaviors are important to reducing the prevalence of childhood obesity. Previous research has identified school-based interventions as effective strategies to improve physical activity and nutrition. However, the results are often mixed, and middle schoolers are an under-studied population.
Our study aims to fill this gap by developing an after-school intervention to increase physical activity and fruit and vegetable consumption that is influenced by national guidelines and formative research.
This study was an after-school, quasi-experimental study spanning 9 months. Enrollment began in September 2021 and continued on a rolling basis through February 2022. Weekly, middle schoolers were offered 2-3 physical activity sessions and 1 produce kit. Physical activity was measured using accelerometers and questionnaires. Nutrition behaviors were assessed using questionnaires, and physical literacy was assessed using researcher observations. Follow-up data collection occurred in December 2021 and in April 2022. Difference scores will be calculated and analyzed for each outcome variable.
The intervention started in September 2021 and will conclude in May 2022. Published study results are expected in late 2022.
An increase in physical literacy, physical activity, and fruit and vegetable consumption is expected. If successful, future studies will focus on reach and sustainability. Lastly, this study may serve as a model for improving health outcomes in middle schools.
Grimes A, Lightner JS, Eighmy K, Wray BD, Valleroy E, Baughn M. Physical Activity and Nutrition Intervention for Middle Schoolers (Move More, Get More): Protocol for a Quasi-Experimental Study. JMIR Res Protoc. 2022 May 4;11(5):e37126. doi: 10.2196/37126. PMID: 35507392; PMCID: PMC9118081.