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, SE; Bennett, Gary G; Evenson, KR; Martinie, A; Namenek Brouwer, RJ; Neelon, Brian Hugh; & Østbye, Truls (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 http://hdl.handle.net/10161/11436.
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Bishop-MacDermott Family Professor 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
Professor of Family Medicine and Community Health
Chronic disease epidemiology; obesity; health services research; population health; public health; social medicine; health information systems; health surveys; programme evaluation; clinical trials; aging; nutrition; dementia; Global Health
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