A community-based intervention increases physical activity and reduces obesity in school-age children in North Carolina.
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BACKGROUND: Community-based interventions are promising approaches to obesity prevention, but few studies have prospectively evaluated them. The aim of this study was to evaluate a natural experiment—a community intervention designed to promote active living and decrease obesity within a small southern town. METHODS: In 2011, community leaders implemented the Mebane on the Move intervention—a community-wide effort to promote physical activity (PA) and decrease obesity among residents of Mebane, North Carolina. We measured child PA and BMI before and after the intervention, using a nearby town not implementing an intervention as the comparison. In total, we assessed 64 children from Mebane and 40 from the comparison community 6 months before, as well as 34 and 18 children 6 months after the intervention. We assessed PA with accelerometers worn for 7 days and calculated BMI z-scores using children's height and weight. We conducted multivariable linear regressions examining pre- to postintervention change in minutes of PA and BMI z-score, adjusting for confounders. RESULTS: At follow-up, children in Mebane modestly increased their moderate-to-vigorous PA (1.3 minutes per hour; 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.2, 2.3; p=0.03) and vigorous activity (0.8 minutes per hour; 95% CI: 0.1, 1.5; p=0.04) more than comparison children. In intervention children, BMI z-scores decreased 0.5 units (kg/m(2); 95% CI: -0.9, -0.02; p=0.045), compared to children in the comparison community. CONCLUSIONS: We observed positive effects on PA level and weight status of children in Mebane, despite high rates of attrition, suggesting that the community-based intervention may have been successful.
SubjectBody Mass Index
Community Health Services
Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
Published Version (Please cite this version)10.1089/chi.2014.0130
Publication InfoBenjamin Neelon, Sara E; Namenek Brouwer, Rebecca J; Østbye, Truls; Evenson, Kelly R; Neelon, Brian; Martinie, Annie; & Bennett, Gary (2015). A community-based intervention increases physical activity and reduces obesity in school-age children in North Carolina. Child Obes, 11(3). pp. 297-303. 10.1089/chi.2014.0130. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/11436.
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Professor in the Department of Psychology and Neuroscience
Please note that this is not our primary website.To learn more about Dr. Bennett, please visit: drgarybennett.comTo learn more about Dr. Bennett's work with Duke Digital Health, please visit: dukedigitalhealth.org Gary G. Bennett is the Bishop-MacDermott Family Professor of Psychology & Neuroscience, Global Health, and Medicine at Duke Univ
Dir, Research Initiatives
My overarching goal is to facilitate effective research and collaborations for the Duke research community, through the delivery of targeted programs and individual consultations.
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