A Coordinated School Health Approach to Obesity Prevention Among Appalachian Youth

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Childhood obesity has been an increasing problem in the United States, especially in rural areas. Effective prevention approaches are needed. This article describes the development, implementation, effectiveness, feasibility, and sustainability of a school-based obesity prevention pilot project, Winning with Wellness. The program was based on the coordinated school health model and included a community-based participatory research approach aimed at promoting healthy eating and physical activity in a rural Appalachian elementary school. Findings from this preliminary project revealed improvements in nutrition offerings and increased physical activity during the school day. In addition, the program was found to be acceptable to teachers, successfully implemented utilizing both existing and newly developed resources, and sustainable as evidenced in continued practice and expansion to other area schools.