Abstract P310: Impact of HealthCorps Program on Participating New York City High School Students' Knowledge of Nutrition, Mental Health and Physical Activity
Introduction: HealthCorps provides school wellness programming using curricula to promote changes in nutrition, mental health and physical activity behaviors. The research objective was to evaluate the effect of implementing its curricula on nutrition, mental health and physical activity knowledge and behavior.
Hypothesis: That the HealthCorps program has positively effects on student knowledge and health behaviors in 14 public New York City high schools.
Methods: Pre- and post-survey data were collected (N=2255) during 2012-13 academic year from New York City public high schools (N=14). An 18-item knowledge survey addressed three domains; 26 behavioral items were analyzed by factor analysis to identify 6 behavior domains, breakfast being a seventh one-item domain. We examined the effects stratified by gender, applying multi-level mixed-effects models to take into account clustering effects of schools and participants adjusted for age.
Results: The HealthCorps program significantly increased all three knowledge domains (p<0.05). HealthCorps curricula significantly changed several key behavioral domains. Specifically, among boys, curricula significantly increased fruits/vegetables intake (p=0.03). Among girls, it increased acceptance of new fruits/vegetables (p=0.03), decreased sugar-sweetened beverages and energy dense food intake (p=0.03), but decreased breakfast consumption (p=0.04). The associations between knowledge and behavior were stronger in boys than girls.
Conclusion: The HealthCorps program significantly increased participants’ knowledge on nutrition, mental health and physical activity. It also improved several key behavioral domains, which are targets of the 2010 Dietary Guidelines to address obesity in youth.
Author Disclosures: M. Heo: None. E.D. Irvin: None. N. Ostrovsky: None. D. Lounsbury: None. C. Isasi: None. A. Blank: None. T. Yom: None. M. Ginsberg: None. L. Fredericks: None. S.G. Hayes: None. J. Wylie-Rosett: None.
- © 2015 by American Heart Association, Inc.