Initiative Description: The project included 2 studies across 12 months. The 1st assessed the scope of the obesity problem within a 3-county area with key stakeholders in health and education. The 2nd implemented a five-session middle school classroom program over a 6-week period that involved a Family Field Guide that included guidelines for getting started (i.e., goal setting and self-efficacy), changing behaviors, charting and monitoring goals, and having fun working toward health goals, as well as information about health basics (i.e., eating from the five food groups, lowering fat, and decreasing sedentary activity), nutrition, and fitness. This study included also the implementation of a community event (a Family Fun Night) to promote physical activity and nutrition. Participants in the intervention included 65 middle-school students and the families of 25 of these students.
Study Results: In the area of self-reported behavior, families as a whole significantly increased their level of physical activity over the course of the intervention. They also improved in their fitness knowledge.
Reference: Hawley, S. R., Beckman, H., & Bishop, T. (2006). Development of an obesity prevention and management program for children and adolescents in a rural setting. Journal of Community Health Nursing, 23(2), 69-80. doi: 10.1207/s15327655jchn2302_1.
Level of Evidence: Very Good