Population and Setting. The study was done in 16 after-school programmes in El Paso and Austin, Texas. There were 258 students at baseline, but only 182 were present during the post-test measurement. All in all, 157 students were able to complete both the baseline and follow-up measurements. The mean age of the students was nine years. Forty-three per cent of the students were White, 34% were Hispanic (34), 17% were African American, and the remaining 6% represent other ethnicities.
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Theory (or theories) the intervention was based on. CKC (Catch Kids Club), the intervention programme used in the study, was based on the main study called CATCH (Coordinated Approach to Child Health), a school-based programme designed for the prevention of cardiovascular disease.
Description of Intervention. CKC is a health and nutrition programme designed for elementary school children implemented after school. It has three components: a five-module education component, a physical activity component, and a snack component.
Research Design. The study used a pre-test/post-test quasi-experimental design. The students from El Paso received all three components of the programme, whereas the Austin students received only one component — physical activity.
Measure of Physical Activity. The study used the System for Observing Fitness Instruction Time (SOFIT). A validated method used in assessing the quality of physical activity programmes, SOFIT gives information on the total time spent on all of the lessons, on the different activity levels, and in the different lesson contexts.
Measure of Constructs. Another measure used by the study is the After-School Student Questionnaire (ASSQ), a self-administered questionnaire that measured the behavioural and psychosocial variables of the study. The constructs measured in the study were the participants’ food preferences, their knowledge of diet, their self-efficacy, their intentions to choose healthful food, and their participation in physical activities.
The study also used a focused group as a measure. In this method, the after-school staff were asked to share their opinion of the programme — its strengths and weaknesses — as well as how it could be improved.
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Results. The students showed a favourable to the physical activity and snack components of the study. The programme’s education component drew less interest from the students. The study found that the physical activity component significantly increased physical activity and that it was easy to implement. The students and the teachers also reported having enjoyed this particular component of the programme.
Limitations Reported by the Authors. The authors reported some problems in logistics, and there had also been problems with the turnover of staff, causing some problems in the implementation of the programme.
Limitations Not Reported by the Authors. Although seemingly unlikely, the non-parallel implementation of the programme in El Paso and Austin may, to a certain degree, have affected the results of the study. Only one component (physical activity) was implemented in Austin, whereas all three components were implemented in El Paso.
Kelder, Steve, et al. “The CATCH Kids Club: A Pilot after-School Study for Improving Elementary Students’ Nutrition and Physical Activity.” Public Health Nutrition, vol. 8, no. 2, 2005, pp. 133–40. Crossref, doi:10.1079/phn2004678.