Children’s physical activity could be improved through increased time in physical education class, after-school programs and by walking or biking to school, according to results from a school-based health initiative funded by Kaiser Permanente.
The Healthy Eating Active Living-Community Health Initiative (HEAL-CHI) targeted populations in three low-income communities in northern California (n=129,260). The communities received 5-year grants of $1.5 million to support the implementation of the initiative in schools, health care settings, worksites and neighborhoods, according to Allen Cheadle, PhD, director of the Center for Community Health and Evaluation in Seattle, and colleagues.
The evaluation used a logic model approach to examine the effects of combined indicators of intermediate outcomes (ie, environmental and policy changes in communities), the researchers wrote. In addition to changes in physical activity time, the initiative included promotion of healthy eating habits, decreasing alcohol sales and changes to walk paths, roads and bike routes.
Cheadleand colleagues found significant changes among residents in the study areas who were exposed to interventions. However, the population-level results were inconclusive overall, they wrote.
Disclosure: The HEAL-CHI initiative and evaluation was funded by the Kaiser Permanente Northern California Community Benefit Program. The researchers report no relevant financial disclosures.