Background: This study evaluated the effects of a novel nutrition and movement science after-school program integrating laboratory experiences for minority children. Laboratory experiences demonstrated how the body moves, functions, and performs in response to exercise and healthy nutrition. Methods: A total of 76 children from 4 after-school programs that were primarily Latino and black were randomly assigned to either an experimental translational health in nutrition and kinesiology (THINK; n = 46) or standard curriculum that served as the control group (CON; n = 30). An analysis of covariance controlling for baseline values was used to compare differences between THINK and CON after the 4-month intervention. Results: Following the program, THINK participants evidenced lower triceps and subscapular skinfold thickness (P <.01 and <.05, respectively). THINK students showed greater improvements in aerobic fitness, grip strength, and agility than CON (P <.01, <.01, and <.05, respectively). Participants in THINK also demonstrated higher scores on their nutrition habits/behaviors questionnaire (P <.01), nutrition science (P <.05), and exercise fitness tests (P <.001) than CON. Conclusion: An innovative curriculum featuring nutrition and kinesiology education interfaced with hands-on laboratory experiences and physical activities can improve physical outcomes and health-related behaviors in after-school programs serving minority children.
- Community-based research
- Physical fitness
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine