Adapting CATCH Kids Club and the NIH We Can! Curricula to Prevent Child Obesity in Afterschool Settings (Winning with Wellness): Results from Focus Groups with Afterschool Personnel and Parents

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Approximately 35.5% of U.S. children ages 6-11 are overweight or obese. Obesity prevention programs in the school setting have produced mixed results, but interventions conducted in the afterschool setting may increase healthy eating (HE) and physical activity (PA) beyond efforts in a typical school day. Studies to date have shown some success in increasing PA in this setting. Moreover, 23% of children grades K-5 attend afterschool care programs. Treatment successes using a family-based approach warrants parental involvement in this setting, but few studies have examined the impact of parent inclusion. The CATCH Kids Club is a curriculum aimed to increase HE and PA in the afterschool care setting with children grades K-5. The NIH We Can! is a family-based intervention geared towards parents of children ages 8-13 and aims to assist families in increasing HE and PA as well as reducing screen time. The current study sought to understand 1) school community perceptions of child obesity, nutrition, and PA, 2) current efforts of the afterschool care program to promote HE and PA, and 3) how a combined student- and parent- focused intervention could be integrated into afterschool care. Researchers conducted focus groups and tested measurement instruments with afterschool personnel and parents of children in the afterschool care program. All personnel (N = 12; 83% Female; 92% Caucasian) agreed that greater afterschool care health promotion efforts could be made. Over half the sample (58%) described afterschool snacks as “not very healthy” or “not at all healthy” and placed the average amount of daily PA at 1 hour. Barriers to healthy habits included mandates on individually wrapped snack purchases and space available for PA. Personnel demonstrated interest in learning the CATCH curriculum. However, personnel were concerned about amount of staff needed to deliver the program, effects of varying attendance levels of students, and parent participation due to busy schedules. Results revealed that parents (N = 8; 75% female; 100% Caucasian) had little knowledge of what occurred during the afterschool care program including types of snacks provided and amount of PA received. All parents were supportive of the implementation of CATCH Kids Club, and all expressed interest in participating in the We Can! sessions. Parents reported preference for short (30-45 minute), bimonthly sessions occurring upon child pick-up. Results suggest that delivering 2012 Appalachian Student Research Forum Page 81 CATCH Kids Club and the NIH We Can! curricula in the afterschool setting would be of interest to both personnel and parents and would be feasible if time-limited and convenient. These findings will contribute to the development of an afterschool care program pilot intervention, Wellness Partners, directed at both students 5-11 years of age and their parents using modified CATCH Kids Club and NIH We Can! curricula. This cluster randomized controlled pilot study utilizing both quantitative and qualitative methodologies will provide preliminary data to further refine and conduct a fully-powered, large scale trial of the intervention’s efficacy in preventing obesity


Johnson City, TN

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