Using Community–Academic Partnerships and a Comprehensive School-Based Program to Decrease Health Disparities in Activity in SchoolAged Children

Many underserved school-age children do not meet the recommended guidelines for physical activity. While children ultimately depend on parents, they also look to schools for their access to developmentally appropriate physical activity. The present randomized controlled trial study utilized a community-academic partnered participatory research approach to evaluate the impact of a culturally sensitive, comprehensive, school-based, program, Kids N Fitness(©), on body mass index (BMI), and child physical activity behavior, including: daily physical activity, team sports participation, attending PE class, and TV viewing/computer game playing, among underserved children ages 8-12 (N = 251) in Los Angeles County. All measures were collected at baseline, 4 and 12 months post-intervention. Students who participated in the KNF program had significant decreases in BMI Z-score, TV viewing, and an increase in PE class attendance from baseline to the 12 month follow-up. Our study shows the value of utilizing community-academic partnerships and a culturally sensitive, multi-component, collaborative intervention.