Background: Professional sports organizations in the United States have notable celebrity status, and several teams have used this “star power” to collaborate with local schools toward the goal of affecting childhood obesity (e.g., NFL Play 60). Program effectiveness is unknown owing to the absence of comprehensive evaluations for any of these initiatives. In 2006, the Memphis Grizzlies, the city's National Basketball Association (NBA) franchise, launched “Get Fit with the Grizzlies,” a 6-week, curricular addition focusing on nutrition and physical activity for the 4th and 5th grades in Memphis City Schools. The health-infused mini-unit was delivered by the physical education teachers during their classes. National and local sponsors whose business objectives matched the “Get Fit” objectives were solicited to fund the program. Here we highlight the program evaluation results from the first year of “Get Fit” and the Journal of School Health article. However, the “Get Fit” program has now taken place in Memphis area schools for 5 years. During the 2010-11 school-year, “Get Fit” evolved into a new program called “Healthy Home Court” with Kellogg's as the primary sponsor. “Healthy Home Court” included the original fitness part of the program and added a breakfast component at high schools where data indicated great need. Kellogg's sponsored special “carts” with healthy breakfast options (i.e., fruit, protein bars) for students to grab and eat. This program matched their existing program “Food Away from Home.” Research supports the objectives of these programs and has shown that breakfast consumption can have a positive impact on academic achievement, behavior in school, and overall health status.
Method: Survey research employed over the first 4 years measured health knowledge acquisition and health behavior change using a matched pre/post test design (n=2210) in randomly chosen schools (n=18) from all elementary schools in the Memphis area. McNemar's test for significance (<05) was applied to measure correct answers pre and post. Also, breakfast attendance numbers were observed for intervention high schools and compared with breakfast attendance numbers from control high schools.
Results: Analyses confirmed that, from the first year through this past one (2010-11), there was significant health knowledge acquisition and health behavior improvement at post-intervention. Breakfast numbers matched these findings. Also, exit polling that took place at one intervention high school indicated the students attending the breakfast assembly gained knowledge and positively changed attitudes regarding the academic and health benefits of eating a healthy breakfast.
Conclusions: This community-school-home initiative using a professional team's celebrity platform is largely overlooked by school districts and should be considered as an effective way to confront childhood obesity.
To receive treatment for cancer, patients in Brazil often travel to larger hospitals that may be located far away from their families and communities. Pediatric patients miss time in the classroom and may achieve educational milestones later than other students. They may also struggle with some educational topics after receiving certain types of cancer treatment. The Hospital School at the GRAACC helps to close this education gap by providing educational support to school-age students receiving treatment for cancer. In addition to providing educational services during treatment, teachers at the hospital school, Mobile School – Specific Student (EMAE). The objective of this preliminary study is to build knowledge about the impact of school enrollment on mathematics literacy in hospitalized cancer patients undergoing treatment. We followed 15-year-old patients (n = 54) with at last 1 year inside the hospital school for a period of 8 years (2001-2008). Study participants were affected by a variety of diseases including bone tumors (n = 39), Hodgkin lymphoma (n = 08) and non-Hodgkin lymphoma (n = 07). The level of participants' mathematical literacy was regularly assessed by reviewing the results of formative assessments completed by students. Using that information, students were grouped into categories according to mathematics literacy levels established by the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA). The formative assessment is based on the analysis of all the material produced by the student and the EMAE teacher across the years of the study, including the recordings of working meetings that were held with all the teachers every class day.
According to the 2009 National Vital Statistics Report, cancer is the second-leading cause of death in the United Sates. Researchers have determined that consuming a diet low in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains is a common risk factor associated with the risk of developing several types of cancer including stomach, colorectal, breast, and pancreatic. Currently, there are few websites devoted to increasing students' knowledge about the role of a healthy diet in cancer prevention. The Nutrition4Kids website is a unique health education tool that targets youth aged 10 to 14 years. The website content and design were based on the Health Belief Model, the Information-Motivation and Behavioral Skills Model, and the principles of health literacy. The information included on the website was based on recommendations from the American Institute for Cancer Research and the World Cancer Research Fund. The website contains nutrition information, recipes that emphasize the consumption of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, and interactive games. The primary objectives of the Nutrition4Kids website are to 1) increase students' knowledge of how poor dietary habits can affect their health, 2) increase students' knowledge of healthy dietary habits that can reduce their risk for cancer, 3) increase students' ability to prepare healthy, well-balanced meals and snacks, 4) increase students' ability to discuss healthy eating with their family and friends, and 5) increase students' knowledge of nutrients that have healthful benefits.
Serious Games and Gamification deliver powerful and truthful experiences by providing the user with goals, challenges, problem solving and rules, besides a clear internal value and an interactive experience. In fact, Serious Games can be considered memorable experiences that deliver intense moments with the support of different platforms and social networks while ensuring high degrees of motivation, efficiency and performance. Here, we describe Glooveth, an educational game for children ages 6 to 12 years, which was the winner of the Silver Award in the Global eHealth Challenge 2010. Glooveth is a platform computer game that teaches healthy living. We developed a game to be used by three different peripherals: a mouse and two special gloves. These peripherals provide the user with a more intense gameplaying and learning experience. The paper explains the project, from concept to application to usability testing.
Cure4Kids organized the first Global eHealth Challenge in 2010. This contest encouraged the creation of innovative multimedia applications to help educate children or parents about cancer and healthy living. Here, we describe one of the applications submitted to this contest. The presented application was designed to be a serious game containing several mini-games intended to teach healthy eating habits. Each mini-game involves learning a “trick” or a lesson. Two mini-games have been developed so far, but the application can be extended with more. Several design decisions helped make the games enjoyable and appealing to children. This application won the gold award of the Challenge.