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1.  Efficacy of a Pilot Internet-Based Weight Management Program (H.E.A.L.T.H.) and Longitudinal Physical Fitness Data in Army Reserve Soldiers 
Background
The primary aims of this article are to describe the utilization of an Internet-based weight management Web site [Healthy Eating, Activity, and Lifestyle Training Headquarters (H.E.A.L.T.H.)] over a 12–27 month period and to describe concurrent weight and fitness changes in Army Reserve soldiers.
Methods
The H.E.A.L.T.H. Web site was marketed to Army Reserve soldiers via a Web site promotion program for 27 months (phase I) and its continued usage was observed over a subsequent 12-month period (phase II). Web site usage was obtained from the H.E.A.L.T.H. Web site. Weight and fitness data were extracted from the Regional Level Application Software (RLAS).
Results
A total of 1499 Army Reserve soldiers registered on the H.E.A.L.T.H. Web site. There were 118 soldiers who returned to the H.E.A.L.T.H. Web site more than once. Registration rate reduced significantly following the removal of the Web site promotion program. During phase I, 778 Army Reserve soldiers had longitudinal weight and fitness data in RLAS. Men exceeding the screening table weight gained less weight compared with men below it (p < .007). Percentage change in body weight was inversely associated with change in fitness scores.
Conclusions
The Web site promotion program resulted in 52% of available Army Reserve soldiers registering onto the H.E.A.L.T.H. Web site, and 7.9% used the Web site more than once. The H.E.A.L.T.H. Web site may be a viable population-based weight and fitness management tool for soldier use.
PMCID: PMC3208890  PMID: 22027327
Army Reserve; Internet; military; obesity prevention; weight management
2.  An Environmental Intervention to Prevent Excess Weight Gain in African American Students: A Pilot Study 
Purpose
Examine the influence of an environmental intervention to prevent excess weight gain in African American children.
Design
Single-group repeated measures.
Setting
The intervention was delivered to a school composed of African American children.
Subjects
Approximately 45% (N = 77) of enrolled second through sixth grade students.
Intervention
The 18-month intervention was designed to alter the school environment to prevent excess weight gain by making healthier eating choices and physical activity opportunities more available.
Measures
Body Mass Index Percentile was the primary outcome variable. Body mass index Z-score was also calculated, and percent body fat, using bioelectrical impedance, was also measured. Total caloric intake (kcal), and percent kcal from fat, carbohydrate, and protein were measured by digital photography. Minutes of physical activity and sedentary behavior were self-reported.
Analysis
Mixed models analysis was used, covarying baseline values.
Results
Boys maintained while girls increased percent body fat over 18-months (p = .027). All children decreased percent of kcal consumed from total and saturated fat, and increased carbohydrate intake and self-reported physical activity during the intervention (p values < .025). body mass index Z-score, sedentary behavior, and total caloric intake were unchanged.
Conclusion
The program may have resulted in maintenance of percent body fat in boys. Girl's percent body fat steadily increased, despite similar behavioral changes as boys. School-based interventions targeting African American children should investigate strategies that can be effective across gender.
PMCID: PMC2871317  PMID: 20465148
blacks; obesity; children; nutrition; physical activity; Manuscript format: research; Research purpose: intervention testing/program evaluation; Study design: quasi-experimental; Outcome measure: behavioral; Setting: school; Health focus: weight control; Strategy: environmental change; Target population age: youth; Target population circumstances: race/ethnicity
3.  Development of an Internet-Based Obesity Prevention Program for Children 
Background
Childhood obesity is a growing problem, particularly in rural, Louisiana school children. Traditionally, school-based obesity prevention programs have used a primary prevention approach. Finding methods to deliver secondary prevention programs to large numbers of students without singling out overweight students has been a challenge. An innovative approach to achieving this goal is through use of an Internet intervention targeted toward a student's weight status. This article describes the Louisiana (LA) Health Internet intervention, including the student Web site, the Internet counselor Web site, and the Internet counseling process.
Method
The LA Health Internet intervention had separate interfaces for students and Internet counselors. The main features of the student site were behavioral weight loss lessons, lesson activities, chat with an Internet counselor, and email. The Internet counselor site contained these same features, plus a student directory and various means of obtaining student information to guide counseling. Based on their baseline weight status, students received lessons and counseling that promoted either weight loss or weight maintenance. Intervention was delivered during class time, and teachers scheduled Internet counseling sessions with intervention personnel.
Results
The LA Health Internet intervention was initially implemented within 14 schools; 773 students were granted access to the site. From Fall 2007 to Spring 2009, 1174 hours of Internet counselor coverage was needed to implement the Internet counseling component of this intervention
Conclusion
The LA Health Internet intervention is an innovative and feasible method of delivering a secondary prevention program within a school setting to large numbers of students.
PMCID: PMC2901051  PMID: 20513340
children; counseling; Internet; obesity; school; weight management
4.  Increased Obesity in Children Living in Rural Communities of Louisiana 
Objective
Rates of obesity among children have been rising in recent years. Information on the prevalence of obesity in children living in rural communities is needed. We report the prevalence of overweight and obesity in children enrolled in grades 4 to 6 who live in rural areas of Louisiana, U.S.
Methods and Procedures
These data were collected as baseline assessment for the Louisiana (LA) Health project. Height, weight, and estimates of body fat (using body impedance analysis) were collected on 2709 children. Average age was 10.5 years and the sample composition was 57.3% girls, 61.7% African-American, 36.0% Caucasian, and 2.3% other minority. A majority of children (77%) met the criterion for poverty status.
Results
The distribution of body mass index (BMI) percentile was highly skewed toward obesity. The most frequent BMI percentile scores were 98th and 99th percentile. Using Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) norms, the overall prevalence of obesity was 27.4% and for overweight was 45.1% of which 17.7% were between the 85th and 95th percentile. The prevalence of childhood overweight and obesity were much higher than the national norm and this increased prevalence was observed in both genders and in Caucasian and African American children.
Discussion
The prevalence of childhood overweight and obesity was found to be much higher in rural and primarily poor (77%) children living in Louisiana when compared to national norms. This observation suggests that rural children from Louisiana may be experiencing an epidemic of obesity that exceeds national prevalence estimates.
doi:10.1080/17477160802596148
PMCID: PMC2725211  PMID: 19089707
childhood obesity; population studies; rural health; childhood gender differences; ethnicity
5.  Military Services Fitness Database: Development of a Computerized Physical Fitness and Weight Management Database for the U.S. Army 
Military medicine  2009;174(1):1-8.
The Department of Defense (DoD) has mandated development of a system to collect and manage data on the weight, percent body fat (%BF), and fitness of all military personnel. This project aimed to (1) develop a computerized weight and fitness database to track individuals and Army units over time allowing cross-sectional and longitudinal evaluations and (2) test the computerized system for feasibility and integrity of data collection over several years of usage. The computer application, the Military Services Fitness Database (MSFD), was designed for (1) storage and tracking of data related to height, weight, %BF for the Army Weight Control Program (AWCP) and Army Physical Fitness Test (APFT) scores and (2) generation of reports using these data. A 2.5-year pilot test of the MSFD indicated that it monitors population and individual trends of changing body weight, %BF, and fitness in a military population.
PMCID: PMC2761744  PMID: 19216292
6.  The development of the Body Morph Assessment version 2.0 (BMA 2.0): Tests of reliability and validity 
Body image  2009;6(2):67-74.
This study tested the psychometric characteristics of the Body Morph Assessment version 2.0 (BMA 2.0). A sample of 563 adults composed of four groups classified by gender and ethnicity (Caucasian men and women and African-American men and women) were studied. Support for the internal consistency and test–retest reliability of the BMA 2.0 was found for both men and women. A study of convergent validity was conducted. The BMA 2.0 was found to have adequate reliability and validity. Norms were established for the BMA 2.0 estimates of current body size (CBS), ideal body size (IBS), and acceptable body size (ABS) for Caucasian and African-American men and women. In summary, the BMA 2.0 is a reliable and valid computerized measure of CBS, IBS, ABS, the CBS–IBS discrepancy (body dissatisfaction), and provides an estimate of over/underestimation of body size as compared to individuals of the same sex and body mass index.
doi:10.1016/j.bodyim.2009.01.006
PMCID: PMC2743122  PMID: 19244002
Body image; Eating disorders; Obesity; Morph; Body image assessment
7.  Louisiana (LA) Health: Design and Methods for a Childhood Obesity Prevention Program in Rural Schools 
Contemporary clinical trials  2008;29(5):783-795.
There is a worldwide epidemic of obesity with far-reaching consequences for the health of our nation. Prevention of obesity, especially in children, has been deemed by public health policy makers to be one of the most important objectives for our country. This prevention project, called Louisiana (LA) Health, will test whether modification of environmental and behavioral factors can prevent inappropriate weight gain in children from rural parishes of Louisiana who are enrolled in the fourth to sixth grades during Year 1. The primary aim of the LA Health project is to test the efficacy of two school-based approaches for obesity prevention: primary prevention alone and a combination of primary and secondary prevention which will be compared to a no-intervention control group using a cluster randomization research design, with 17 school clusters randomly assigned to the three treatment arms. The study will span three years and will provide critical tests of strategies that: 1) modify the child’s environment as a primary prevention strategy and 2) provide health behavior modification via classroom instruction and internet counseling as a secondary prevention strategy. The study will also recruit a similar sample of students to measure changes in body weight relative to height, gender, and age over the same three-year period.
doi:10.1016/j.cct.2008.03.004
PMCID: PMC2628769  PMID: 18448393
obesity prevention; children; cluster randomized design; school-based intervention

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