Academic journal article Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport

Fight the Fat: An After-School Program to Prevent Obesity

Academic journal article Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport

Fight the Fat: An After-School Program to Prevent Obesity

Article excerpt

Today's generation of young people could be the first generation of Americans to have shorter life expectancies than their parents (American Obesity Association, 2006). Walk into any classroom, in any school, in any state, and one may find that one out of three children is overweight (American Obesity Association). Despite this fact, according to the American Obesity Association's survey in 2005, only 5.6% of parents chose "being overweight or obese" as a great risk to their child's long-term health and quality of life. School based interventions to prevent obesity can target a large population of children. Healthy lifestyles are more influential than genetic factors in avoiding obesity, and it is important to acquire these habits early in life (Healthier U.S.Gov, 2006). By middle school, many children have formed their fitness and eating habits (CDC 2005). Therefore, this study was performed at an elementary school and involved healthy diet and exercise interventions. Eleven third- and fourth-grade students participated in this after-school program involving individual lifetime fitness and nutrition activities. Its purpose was to evaluate the effects of a school-based obesity prevention program on participants' physical fitness and eating habits. This program met for 30 min 2 days a week for 2 months. Daily nutrition and fitness logs were a part of the program. Data from body mass index (BMI), 1/2-mile run/walk times, sit ups and push ups were collected before and after the study. …

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