An Investigation of Dietary Habits in Overweight and Obese Children; Impact of a Childhood Wellness Intervention
Dr. Mark Northuis and Dr. Kyle Morrison
According to the CDC, 17% of children in the United Stated are obese and another 15% are overweight. Among children of the Holland-Zeeland area in Michigan, a staggering 28% of children are overweight or obese. In an effort to try and combat this epidemic, Foundations for Fitness was established in the fall of 2014 on Hope College’s campus. This is a program that provides families with exercise and lifestyle education while placing an emphasis on physical activity, nutrition, and family behavior modifications. The goal of the program is to take a holistic approach to improving the children’s health and fitness. Not many studies have looked into the nutrition of children in intervention programs like this one for reasoning related to the time-consuming nature of performing diet analyses and the problems surrounding self-reported data. This study investigated the differences in the diets of the children at week 1 of the 10-week program and at week 8. Their diets were compared to that of a control group of health experts’ children. The goal of this study is to identify if this intervention model is successful in changing the diets of the participating children. If so, other programs should consider adopting this model. Further, the results will help Foundations for Fitness develop their curriculum in a way that most benefits the children.
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