Educational or Curriculum

The PATHWAYS Curriculum

Initiative Description: The strategy used was to translate specific components of one evidence-based program for violence prevention (Promoting Alternative Thinking Strategies: PATHS) into an elementary school curriculum program for obesity prevention. PATHWAYS lessons, while continuing to address issues related to emotions, impulse control, and decision-making skills, were tailored to address these issues as they relate to healthy dietary choices, sedentary behavior, and physical activity. For example: In the original version of PATHS, these two youth encounter a number of social problems such as being angry with a peer at school. However, in PATHWAYS, the two youth encounter a number of problems related to making healthy decisions.

Study Results: significant increases in self-regulatory attitudes related to food and physical activity. The current pilot studies of the PATHWAYS program show potential not only for altering attitudes toward self-regulation of appetitive behavior and physical activity but also toward actual food choices and activity levels.

Reference: Riggs, N. R., Sakuma, K. K., & Pentz, M. A. (2007). Preventing risk for obesity by promoting self-regulation and decision-making skills: Pilot results from the PATHWAYS to Health Program (PATHWAYS). Evaluation Review, 31(3), 287–310.

Level of evidence: 2 out of 5 stars Good