Educational or Curriculum

The HOPS program

Initiative Description: providing a nutrition and healthy lifestyle curricula that taught elementary-aged children and adults about good nutrition and healthy lifestyle management, including an emphasis on increased levels of physical activity. The dietary intervention consisted of modifications to school-provided breakfasts, lunches, and extended-day snacks in the intervention schools. Menus were modified to include (1) more high-fiber items (e.g., whole grains and fresh fruits and vegetables); (2) fewer high-glycemic items (e.g., high-sugar cereals and processed flour goods); and (3) lower amounts of total, saturated, and trans fats. Programming included a monthly thematic set of nutrition activities developed by the study staff in collaboration with elementary school education experts. Each month, a multimedia set of educational materials that highlighted nutrient-dense foods and healthy lifestyle management lessons were sent to the intervention school

Study Results: Children mantained healthy BMI levels. Also, students significantly improved math scores in intervention group and although not significantly so, intervention school children had higher reading scores both years.

Reference: Hollar, D., Messiah, S. E., Lopez-Mitnik, G., Hollar, T. L., Almon, M., & Agatston, A. S. (2010). Effect of a two-year obesity prevention intervention on percentile changes in body mass index and academic performance in low-income elementary school children. American Journal of Public Health, 100(4), 646-653.

Level of Evidence: 3 out of 5 stars Very Good