"Use of the internet and videos made learning fun for these students," said Marilyn Frenn, Ph.D., R.N., lead author of the report and an associate professor of nursing at Marquette University in Milwaukee. "It is the way that the youth of today learns."
Researchers at Marquette University Nursing School, in conjunction with the City of Milwaukee Health Department, used an interactive internet program and short videos to reduce fat intake and increase exercise levels of low-income seventh graders. The Web-based component included radio buttons, colorful graphics, discussion boards and online nursing students to answer questions.
Studies have shown that lower income children are at a higher risk for obesity than children from higher income families, with blacks and Hispanics at the highest risk.
The study included 137 culturally diverse middle school students. Almost 90 percent of the students were either receiving free or reduced-cost lunches at school, indicating they were from low-income families. Forty-eight percent of the students were Hispanic, 24 percent black, 6 percent Caucasian and 3 percent Native American.
"In the transition from middle school to high school, students' diets worsen with an increase in high-fat junk food and a decrease in exercise," Frenn said. "We want to create a culture that is healthier, getting exercise up and the dietary fat down."
The more internet/video sessions the students attended at school, the greater the positive impact. Students who attended at least half of the sessions increased the amount of exercise and reduced the fat in th
Contact: Carole Bullock
American Heart Association