Shaping Health Behaviors Through Science Enrichment

Grant #: R25-RR15646

Principal Investigator: L. Arthur Campfield, Ph.D.
Phone: 970-491-3819
E-mail: campfield@cahs.colostate.edu

Project Co-Investigator: Françoise Smith, M.S.
Phone: 970-491-7889
E-mail: smith@cahs.colostate.edu

Project Site: Colorado State University, Food Science and Human Nutrition, Gifford Bldg, Fort Collins, CO 80523.
Web Site: http://www.fshn.colostate.edu

Summary of Project

This obesity prevention project, for students in grades K-5, links nutritional science experts with classrooms at elementary schools to provide science enrichment in class, after-school and outreach activities to teach healthy lifestyles. A diverse team of classroom activity leaders (health professionals, farmers, cooks) will visit the classroom throughout the school year. They will deliver a program that is customized to build on needs, knowledge and opportunities of the class and the school. A joint school team will design the specific program.

The Dept of Food Science and Human Nutrition at Colorado State University will lead this program and partner with the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center (Center for Human Nutrition, the Dept of Preventive Medicine in the School of Medicine, and the School of Nursing), the Culinary Arts Program of Johnson & Wales University, the Museum of Nature and Science, the Children's Museum in Denver and the Discovery Center Science Museum in Fort Collins. The Partnership will aim to reduce the rate of childhood and adolescent obesity in Colorado by introducing science and math enrichment programs in elementary schools as well as in science museum-based programs directed at students and the community.

The project will provide interactive, "hands-on", fun, and challenging educational science enrichment activities that use examples and exercises (science, math and literacy) from food, nutrition, healthy eating, physical activity, the biology of body weight regulation and body image. Internet-based technology will be used for many lessons, activities and data collection on health behaviors and student knowledge. The project will be evaluated by: a) determining the rate of weight and body mass index (BMI) gain, b) improvement in science-based health knowledge and c) improvement in health behaviors in elementary school students.

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