Objective: To examine the impact of adherence to a healthy snacking component of a 6 month school-based intervention program for overweight and obese children.
Design: Randomized controlled intervention trial
Methods: Mexican American children who were ≥ 85th percentile for body mass index (BMI) were recruited between 2005-2012 from three Houston schools. Children participated in a 12-week instructor led intensive intervention program that included nutrition education, physical activity, and a snacking component which consisted of a daily choice of peanuts and/or peanut butter snacks. Children (12±0.6 years) (n= 257) were divided into either low or high snacking adherence groups based on their responses on a peanut food frequency questionnaire. The low adherence group reported consuming peanuts or peanut butter ≤ once per week and the high adherence group > once per week over 6 months. Change of BMI, standardized BMI (zBMI), triceps skinfold, and weight were compared at six months of children reporting high and low levels of adherence to the snacking component.
Analysis: T-tests were performed with SPSS version 22 with level of significance set at P <0.05.
Results: Children in the high snacking adherence group demonstrated significantly greater decreases in BMI (P= 0.021) and zBMI (P = 0.005) at six months compared to the children in the low snacking adherence group. Although triceps skinfold did not significantly decrease, anthropometric measures trended towards significance.
Conclusions and Implications: Peanuts provided an acceptable, healthy snack for children. Although peanuts were relatively high in fat, the weight loss intervention of replacing energy-dense and unhealthy snacks with peanuts and peanut butter helped children maintain a healthy body weight.
Key Take Away Points
- Childhood obesity and overseigh is prevalent amoung Mexican American children
- Peantus provide an acceptable, healthy snack for children
- Children in a high snacking adherence group demonstrated significantly greater decreases in BMI and zBMI after a 6 month school-based obesity intervention program
Jennette Moreno, PhD is an Instructor with Baylor College of Medicine in the Department of Pediatrics, USDA/ARS Children’s Nutrition Research Center in Houston. She is currently working to further develop his school-based intervention to prevent obesity in a high risk group of inner-city, low-income, minority adolescents. Afshan Mohamed, MS, RD obtained her Master’s degree in Nutrition from Texas Woman’s University. She currently is a Dietitian and Diabetes Education with Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston. Carolyn E. Moore, PhD, RD is an Associate Professor of Nutrition and Food Sciences with Texas Woman’s University. Her current primary research area of interest is the relationship of Vitamin D to cardiovascular disease and obesity in adults and children. Craig Johntson, PhD at the time of the study was an Assistant Professor in in Pediatrics with Baylor College of Medicine in the Department of Pediatrics, USDA/ARS Children’s Nutrition Research Center in Houston. He is currently an Assistant Professor with the University of Houston, Health and Human Performance Department. Dr. Johnston actively studies the behavioral treatment of obesity and related diseases. One of his primary areas of research within the treatment of obesity is the development of school-based interventions.
This work is a publication of the USDA (USDA/ARS) Children’s Nutrition Research Center, Department of Pediatrics, Baylor College of Medicine (Houston, TX) and has been supported with federal funds from the USDA/ARS 3092-5-001.
Moreno, Jennette P.; Mohammed, Afshan; Moore, Carolyn E.; and Johnston, Craig
"Benefits of a snacking intervention as part of a school-based obesity intervention for Mexican American children,"
Journal of Applied Research on Children: Informing Policy for Children at Risk: Vol. 6:
2, Article 15.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.library.tmc.edu/childrenatrisk/vol6/iss2/15