Slowing BMI Growth Trajectories in Elementary School-Aged Children: The Northeast Iowa Food and Fitness Initiative

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Abstract

This project examines the Northeast Iowa Food and Fitness Initiative, a policy-, community-, and school-based effort to slow children's body mass index (BMI) growth over 6 years. Kindergarteners (K) to fifth graders (5) from 10 different school districts participated (N = 4101). Students with 0 to 1 years of initiative exposure showed greater growth in BMI compared with children who had 2 to 6 years of exposure, resulting in K-5 BMI savings of 1.5 points (6 lb) for median-height boys and girls. Results suggest that changes to policies, communities, and schools may provide effective obesity reduction in children.

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