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PE teachers deliver UC-FSNEP EatFit program at Alvord Unified

The Issue

Almost one third of youth ages 10 to 14 living in Riverside County are either overweight, obese or are at risk of being overweight. If we focus on children living in poverty, the number increases to 42 percent, according to the 2007 California Health Interview Survey. The survey also reports that 70 percent of Riverside youth ages 10 to 14 eat less than 5 servings of fruits and vegetables daily, 47 percent said they ate fast food two or more times in the past week, 19 percent drank two or more glasses of soda or other sugary drinks the previous day, and only 22 percent are active for at least one hour every day in a typical week.

What Has ANR Done?

To combat these disappointing trends, Alvord Unified School District and Alvord Educational Foundation have joined with Riverside Medical Clinic Foundation and UC-Food Stamp Nutrition Education Program (UC-FSNEP) to improve the health and well being of the middle school students and their families in a project called “Kick Off Riverside.” This project was piloted last year at Loma Vista Middle School, where 78 percent of the student body is Hispanic. With the support of the principal and the PE team, the 6th grade students and their families met at the school one night every month for a health and nutrition talk and family exercise time led by local fitness businesses. UC-FSNEP provided EatFit program, which was delivered by the PE teachers during class. EatFit is an nine-lesson curriculum that emphasizes goal setting and provides information on label reading, exercise, fast food and eating breakfast. The students analyzed their diets and learned to set eating and fitness goals. The PE teachers were instrumental in delivering the nutrition and fitness messages in EatFit, and in getting the students, and through them their families, interested in healthy living.

The Payoff

Students make better food choices and get more exercise

Three hundred and ninety-five students at Loma Vista Middle School enrolled in EatFit last year. Pre/post-tests were collected from two classes with a total of 68 students. The pre/post-test results show that 85 percent of students increased in nutrition and fitness knowledge, 59 percent now make better food choices, and 51 percent are more physically active. In addition, the Kick Off Riverside participant numbers went up at the end of the school year. With the support of the Alvord School District Secondary Education Director and all partners involved in this project, Kick Off Riverside has expanded to include all four middle schools during the 2009-2010 school year.


Supporting Unit:

UC FSNEP Evaluation Workgroup and Riverside County
Chutima Ganthavorn, (951) 683-6491, cganthavorn@ucdavis.edu