The impact of a healthy living challenge and point-of-decision prompts on health behavior and self-efficacy levels among elementary-aged students
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Childhood obesity trends are on the rise across the nation. With obesity as a growing issue, it is important to address the underlying behaviors that lead to weight gain and sedentary behaviors among children. The risk for obesity can be addressed through behavioral changes related to a healthy diet, physical activity, and decreasing sedentary activities, as well as adapting the physical environment. The purpose of this research was to assess knowledge, self-efficacy, and behavior related to fruit and vegetable consumption, screen time, physical activity, sugar-sweetened beverage consumption, and sleep of fourth and fifth grade students at one elementary school. A six-week program and point-of-decision prompts were developed and implemented. The researcher studied the initial impact and effectiveness of the intervention through a pre- and post-survey. The results from 39 participants were analyzed. Major findings suggest that multicomponent programs and point-of-decision prompts can be effective methods when used among elementary-aged students. Statistical significance was found for a change in knowledge over the course of the program. Future childhood obesity prevention efforts should focus on a collaborative approach between health care systems, schools, and public health entities to create a long-lasting impact on obesity.