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Project Details

Evaluation of the impact of Energy Balance 4 Kids with Play (EB4K with Play) Program

Project Summary: 

EB4K with Play is a comprehensive and innovative school-based energy balance program designed to improve students’ nutrition and physical activity knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors and engage school, parent and community-based partners in creating healthier food and physical activity environments. The EB4K with Play program includes a nutrition and physical activity curriculum, cafeteria promotions, food service improvements, daily physical activity breaks, organized recess, before-school play, and group counseling implemented by RD coaches and Playworks coaches. The Center is evaluating the impact of the program on school policy and environment, and on students’ nutrition and physical activity knowledge, attitudes and behaviors.

Main Findings: 

The evaluation of the EB4K program has been ongoing since the 2008-09 academic year in schools across Missouri, Kansas and Iowa. In the 2011-12 academic year, the program and evaluation were expanded to schools in the West Contra Costa Unified School District located in the East Bay of San Francisco. The evaluation was designed to utilize the most rigorous methodology for this population and to assess not only outcome measures but process measures as well with minimal measurement error. It further includes mixed methods research, combining the strengths of quantitative research and qualitative research. The interventionists continually improve the programming and outcomes based on the findings from the process and outcome evaluation.

Among the evaluation findings, students from the intervention schools compared to students from the control schools at the completion of the program have significantly increased their nutrition knowledge and improved their attitudes about school lunch. Further, when cafeteria behaviors were observed, vegetable intake significantly increased among the students from the intervention school after the program compared to the students from the control schools. Screen time has also been found to decrease significantly among the students from the intervention schools compared to those from the control schools after the program.

Policy, Practice or Research Impacts: 
Contact Person: 
Dana Gerstein
Contact Person's Email Address:
Atkins Center for Weight and Health, UC Berkeley
Principal Investigators: 
Patricia Crawford
Website for Project or Program: 
UC San Francisco
Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Foundation/Health Weight Commitment Foundation
Location - States: 
Missouri, Kansas, Iowa, California
Location - Countries: 
United States