Healthy schoolhouse 2.0 health promotion intervention to reduce childhood obesity in Washington, DC : A feasibility study
Childhood obesity prevalence trends involve complex societal and environmental factors as well as individual behaviors. The Healthy Schoolhouse 2.0 program seeks to improve nutrition literacy among elementary school students through an equity-focused intervention that supports the health of students, teachers, and the community. This five-year quasi-experimental study follows a baseline–post-test design. Research activities examine the feasibility and effectiveness of a professional development series in the first program year to improve teachers’ self-efficacy and students’ nutrition literacy. Four elementary schools in Washington, DC (two intervention, two comparison) enrolled in the program (N = 1302 students). Demographic and baseline assessments were similar between schools. Teacher participation in professional development sessions was positively correlated with implementing nutrition lessons (r = 0.6, p < 0.001, n = 55). Post-test student nutrition knowledge scores (W = 39985, p < 0.010, n = 659) and knowledge score changes (W = 17064, p < 0.010, n = 448) were higher among students in the intervention schools. Students who received three nutrition lessons had higher post knowledge scores than students who received fewer lessons (H(2) =22.75, p < 0.001, n = 659). Engaging teachers to implement nutrition curricula may support sustainable obesity prevention efforts in the elementary school environment.