METHODS: A quiz developed and validated on separate age and sex appropriate blinded cohorts was used on study participants-22 volunteers of 57 eligible fourth-grade, overweight female Mississippi public school students. At the beginning of a 5-month study period, a 15-minute baseline nutrition intervention, grounded in Social Cognitive Theory and based on the United States Department of Agriculture's "My Tips for Families" information, was applied in a chiropractic clinic. Subjects were then randomized to 2 months of recreational soccer (n = 14) or waiting list control (n = 8).
RESULTS: No preintervention differences were found in height, weight, BMI, or age. Higher follow-up BMI scores were found in both groups, and no significant differences between groups were found, possibly because of the small sample sizes and the short 8-week soccer intervention period. Gains in nutrition knowledge were sustained (P < .002); however, there was no association between nutrition knowledge and follow-up BMI (r = -.185; P < .462).
CONCLUSIONS: Minimal nutrition education alone may be an ineffective intervention for overweight children. The study provides an example of how youth soccer may benefit overweight children.
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