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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2012, 9(4), 1438-1457; doi:10.3390/ijerph9041438

After-School Based Obesity Prevention Interventions: A Comprehensive Review of the Literature

1,*  and 2
1 Department of Health & Exercise Science, The University of Oklahoma, 1401 Asp Avenue, HHC 112, Norman, OK 73019, USA 2 Health Promotion and Education, The University of Cincinnati, P.O. Box 210068, Cincinnati, OH 45221, USA
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 4 January 2012 / Revised: 6 February 2012 / Accepted: 8 February 2012 / Published: 16 April 2012
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Childhood Obesity: Prevention and Treatment)
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The purpose of this article was to review primary prevention interventions targeting childhood obesity implemented in the after school environment from 2006 and 2011. A total of 20 interventions were found from 25 studies. Children in the interventions ranged from kindergarten to middle schoolers, however a majority was in the 4th and 5th grades. Most of the interventions targeted both physical activity and dietary behaviors. Among those that focused on only one dimension, physical activity was targeted more than diet. The duration of the interventions greatly varied, but many were short-term or brief. Many interventions were also based on some behavioral theory, with social cognitive theory as the most widely used. Most of the interventions focused on short-term changes, and rarely did any perform a follow-up evaluation. A major limitation among after school interventions was an inadequate use of process evaluations. Overall, interventions resulted in modest changes in behaviors and behavioral antecedents, and results were mixed and generally unfavorable with regards to indicators of obesity. Recommendations for enhancing the effectiveness of after school based childhood obesity interventions are presented.
Keywords: child obesity; literature review; after school child obesity; literature review; after school
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY) which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Branscum, P.; Sharma, M. After-School Based Obesity Prevention Interventions: A Comprehensive Review of the Literature. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2012, 9, 1438-1457.

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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health EISSN 1660-4601 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert