Education and Evaluation of Healthy Habits in School Age Children: Implementation of the Fit for Life Program
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Childhood obesity is a serious health concern across the United States. National health care organizations have placed priority on managing obesity with an obesity prevalence of 18.4% among ages 6-11 years. Educating the students in the classroom has been shown to be successful.|Purpose: To improve knowledge and put into practice healthy habits in elementary students though the implementation of the Fit for Life education program created by Creighton Medical Students in 2008 including educating students in the classroom on healthy habits, and evaluate the effectiveness of the intervention through evaluation of self- report of healthy habits. Health habits include increasing physical activity, reduce screen time and improve food choices.|Method: An age-appropriate innovative, interactive program was presented once a week for four weeks live via zoom conferencing to a 4th grade classroom. The students completed a daily tally sheet to track personal health habits. Pre and post intervention healthy surveys, including areas of nutrition, screen time; physical activity and overall self evaluation of health in were given at week one, four and eight. Results: Post survey self-reports: 94.2% felt they were “very” or “pretty” healthy, an increase of 29.5% from the pre-health survey. How much the students’ care about staying healthy post interventions was a 29.4% increase. Overall, the general trend showed self-reported improvement in all areas. There was 100% participation of daily tally sheets. The healthy habits improved slightly by program completion.|Key words: elementary school; nutrition education curriculum; obesity prevention; school-based; wellness policy, childhood obesity, weight management, physical activity, healthy habits.
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