Date of this Version
Over 1.4 million middle school adolescents participate in afterschool programs each year. While most of the obesity prevention interventions focus on the traditional school day, the afterschool setting should not be overlooked. A pilot study was conducted using KidQuest, a traditional classroom nutrition and physical activity intervention for early adolescents ages 10 to 12 based on the social cognitive theory, in an afterschool setting. The purpose of the pilot study was to evaluate the effectiveness of using a nutrition and physical activity intervention developed for the traditional school day in an afterschool setting. The desired outcome of this mixed-methods study with explanatory design was for participants to use nutrition related knowledge and skills learned to improve self-efficacy and change behavior. Outcomes of 24 participants were measured using pre/post surveys and focus groups/structured interview. While no statistical significance was identified, behavior change was noted in the focus groups/structured interview. In the focus groups/structured interview, participants reported that the intervention: 1) Increased knowledge in identifying healthy snacks/meals and food label reading and 2) Promoted family involvement. Implementation of the intervention in an afterschool program posed challenges with participant attendance and compliance. Evaluation of the pilot study provided direction to alter future programming by continuing the structured physical activity time in the afterschool program while re-directing the nutrition intervention towards the traditional school day. Implications for future research include identifying strategies for implementing traditional school nutrition interventions in the afterschool setting and determining avenues to reach youth consistently in the afterschool hours.
Advisor: Julie Albrecht