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During the 2008-2009 school year, fourth and fifth grade students and their families in five schools in Washington, Oregon, and Idaho participated in testing interventions designed to reduce screen time and minimize the impact of media advertising of unhealthy foods to children. Unplugged and Media Savvy, a collaborative project of the University of Washington Center for Public Health Nutrition and The Northwest Center for Excellence in Media Literacy, is funded by the National Institutes of Health.
Interviews and focus groups with parents, teachers & administrators informed the creation of fun and interactive materials and learning activities for families and students. Five intervention components were developed to reach students, families and the wider school community:
Encouraging Smart Screen Time in the Summer Months
During summer 2009, the Center for Public Health Nutrition partnered with School’s Out Washington’s Feed Your Brain program to adapt and test the Powerful Choices intervention in a shorter summer format. Feed Your Brain sites sponsor the USDA/OSPI Summer Feeding Program in rural areas and receive grants and technical assistance to support literacy and academic enrichment activities. Four sites across the state pilot tested the materials and provided feedback. The materials were modified with their input and will be made more widely available to the summer 2010 Feed Your Brain sites. For information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
UW Center for Public Health Nutrition,
UW Northwest Center for Media Literacy
Ten schools were paired as closely as possible according to demographic and other characteristics and randomly assigned to either the intervention or control group. The evaluation included:
1) feasibility of the intervention and study measures for administrators, schools, parents and students; 2) changes in behavioral capacity, expectations and self efficacy; 3) the impact of the intervention on hours of screen time, purchases of highly advertised foods, physical activity levels, and BMI. The research team is currently analyzing the data from the pilot project.
Featured: Fall 2009 - Go to newsletter