Featured Programs & Activities
Smart Screen Time Initiatives in Washington State

Research Projects

Unplugged and Media Savvy: Reducing the Impact of "Screen" Time

Unplugged is a project funded by the National Institutes of Health to develop and test interventions to reduce screen time and minimize the impact of media promotion of foods. The intervention will include five components:

  • 30 Days Live!, students give up TV for a month
  • Media literacy curriculum at school
  • Family activities to change home environments
  • School wide activities such as celebration of TV Turnoff Week
  • Conversations about food marketing and non-educational uses of screens at school

2007- 2008

  • Recruit 10 elementary schools
  • Conduct interviews and focus groups with parents, teachers & administrators
  • Use an iterative process with successive groups of teachers and parents to create feasible, effective and fun materials and learning activities
  • Develop model school policies

  2008 - 2009

  • Recruit “study families” at each of the 10 schools
  • Implement the intervention in 5 elementary schools
  • Evaluate the feasibility of the intervention for administrators, schools, parents and students
  • Monitor changes in behavioral capacity, expectations and self efficacy
  • Measure the impact of the intervention on hours of screen time, purchases of highly advertised foods, physical activity levels, BMI
  • Prepare materials for the 5 control schools so that they can implement in 2009-2010
Policy Settings
Policy Makers
Stage of Policy Change
Elementary Schools,
Educators, Parents,
School Administrators

Partners: NW Center for Media Literacy, UW Center for Public Health Nutrition

Please contact:
Mary Podrabsky, MPH, RD
University of Washington Center for Public Health Nutrition
Phone: 206-221-4528

30 Days Live

Thirty-day screen-free intervention project conducted in 2003 and 2005 • Targeted 4th, 5th and 6th grade children • Activity and food log books, BMI • Ideas for alternative activities to screens • Meal conversation ideas • Of 120 students, 77% completed the challenge and 60% lost weight • 6 months later, 80% of students watched less TV than before intervention • 97% of students said they would repeat intervention

Policy Settings
Policy Makers
Stage of Policy Change
Elementary schools,
Educators, Parents,

For more information
Barbara Brock