YMCA-Harvard Afterschool Food and Fitness

Project Description

kids running (kids_running_000011596239xsmall.jpg)

The YMCA–Harvard Afterschool Food and Fitness Project aims to help afterschool programs and child care providers create healthy environments for children. The HPRC conducted a quasi-experimental evaluation of a YMCA-driven intervention focused on nutrition and physical activity practice changes in 32 afterschool programs across the country.

The program was implemented via an organizational change model, and participating sites utilized the Food & Fun curriculum developed by the HPRC in partnership with the YMCA of the USA (available free of charge). The organizational change model included learning collaboratives, which aim to empower staff to find local methods for achieving specific program changes related to nutrition and physical activity. The YMCA–Harvard Afterschool Food and Fitness Project found improved physical activity in intervention sites, compared to control sites, and our evaluation of early collaboratives has documented the positive impact of the YMCA learning collaboratives on improving snack offerings.

Prior to the formal evaluation, the HPRC worked with the YMCA of the USA to develop Youth Nutrition and Physical Activity Guidelines for Out-of-School-Time Programs. These guidelines have been integrated into the organization’s goals and tools for promoting healthy changes. The revised Nutrition and Physical Activity Environmental Standards for Out of School Time and accompanying posterare available free of charge below.

Principal Investigator: Steven Gortmaker, PhD
Funders: Pritzker Foundation and the Pritzker Traubert Family Foundation
For more information, contact Rebecca Mozaffarian.

Toolsboy_snack (boy_snack_000007084214xsmall.jpg)

Environmental Standards for Nutrition and Physical Activity in Out of School Time Programs (©President and Fellows of Harvard College and YMCA of the USA, 2009)

Healthy Places, Healthy Kids poster

Food and Fun After School Curriculum

foodandfun.org

An interactive website geared towards getting out-of-school time staff and parents excited about promoting physical activity and nutrition by creating healthy environments for themselves and their children. Everyone interested in making healthy changes should have access to information and resources that will help them in the process. That is why all of the materials you will find on foodandfun.org are free of charge! So go ahead and get started. Browse, download, plan, act … and don’t forget to have fun!

Publications

Journal Articles

Gortmaker SL, Lee RM, Mozaffarian RS, Sobol AM, Nelson TF, Roth BA, Wiecha JL. Effect of an after-school intervention on increases in children’s physical activity. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2012 Mar; 44(3):450-7.

Mozaffarian RS, Andry A, Lee RM, Wiecha JL, Gortmaker SL. Price and healthfulness of snacks in 32 YMCA after-school programs in 4 US metropolitan areas, 2006-2008. Prev Chronic Dis. 2012; 9:E38. Epub 2012 Jan 12.

Mozaffarian RS, Wiecha JL, Roth BA, Nelson TF, Lee RM, Gortmaker SL. Impact of an organizational intervention designed to improve snack and beverage quality in YMCA after-school programs. Am J Public Health. 2010 May; 100(5): 925–32. Epub 2009 Oct 15.

Ramanadhan, S, Wiecha JL, Gortmaker SL, Emmons KM, Viswanath K. Informal training in staff networks to support dissemination of health promotion programs. Am J Health Promot. 2010 Sept-Oct; 25(1):12-8.

Ramanadhan S, Wiecha JL, Emmons KM, Gortmaker SL, Viswanath K. Extra-team connections for knowledge transfer between staff teams. Health Educ Res. 2009; 24(6): 967–976.

Wiecha JL, Nelson TF, Roth BA, Glashagel J, Vaughan L. Disseminating Health Promotion Practices in After-school programs through YMCA Learning Collaboratives. Am J Health Promot. 2010; 24(3): 190-198.

Abstracts

Criss S, Lee RM, Mozaffarian RS, Simon M, Simon J, Gortmaker S. Food & Fun After School Video: Training staff to promote healthy environments and behaviors in out-of-school time. Presented at the American Public Health Association Meetings, October 2012.

Lee RM, Mozaffarian RS, Gortmaker J, Burchard J, Gortmaker S. Apps for Nutrition and Physical Activity Education and Environmental Change in Out-of-School Time Programs. Presented at the American Public Health Association Meetings, October 2012.

Lee RM, Gortmaker S, Mozaffarian RS, Wiecha J. Measuring and promoting water as the primary beverage within after-school programs. Presented at the American Public Health Association Meetings, October 2009.

Reports 

Lee RM & Wiecha JL. Internal spread implementation executive summary: YMCA–Harvard Food and Fitness Project.

The Harvard Prevention Research Center is a member of the Prevention Research Centers Program, supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention cooperative agreement number 1-U48-DP-001946.

The Harvard School of Public Health Prevention Research Center is a member of the Prevention Research Centers Program, supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention cooperative agreement number 1-U48-DP-001946.