Projects & Research

Project 3: Community Based Healthy Lifestyles Intervention for Underserved, At-Risk Youth

Principal Investigators: Dr. Lenny Wiersma and Dr. Clay Sherman

Specific Aims

The primary objective of the research plan is to assess the effectiveness of an outpatient obesity physical activity and nutrition intervention program serving underserved youth in Fullerton, CA. As with the project 2, this program will be a collaboration between the Childhood Obesity Center at Cal State Fullerton and St. Jude Medical Center. This study will be designed to develop, implement, and assess the effectiveness of an intervention-based referral program for the new medical clinic.

The program would be designed to provide physical activity opportunities and nutrition education for children referred from the clinic who are obese or at-risk for obesity-related health conditions. The major research questions guiding this project are: 

  • What changes in body weight, waist circumference, body composition, blood pressure, and cholesterol will be found in children as a result of participation?
  • What changes in body image, physical self-worth, physical competence, and attraction to physical activity will occur in participants?
  • How will a child’s level of physical activity and physical fitness change after involvement in the intervention?
  • What changes in dietary intake, knowledge and attitudes toward food will be found? 

While after-school, child-based physical activity programs are not novel in and of themselves, designing and testing a pilot program in a local park or community center would be a precursor for similar interventions in other areas of Orange County. If successful, the program would expand to serve a larger number of children at the current site and alternative sites.


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