Overview of Project:
The project is being conducted over a period of 36-month period and targets Primary School children ages 7-11 years (Grades 2-5); and their supportive environments (at school, at home and the wider community) in Grenada and St. Lucia. In each country, four schools were selected (2 intervention schools- one urban one rural; and 2 control schools - one urban one rural). The project is divided into three phases:
- Phase I- Preliminary Study, Intervention design, and materials development.
- Phase II - Implementation of the lifestyle intervention with the students
- Phase III - Evaluation and reporting
In Phase I of this project, a Preliminary Study was conducted over a 6-month period. It involved the implementation of the ANGELO Process through community workshops to identify the environmental factors associated with healthy eating and regular physical activity and the perceived ease of which each is modifiable. Data were also collected from key informants and focus groups with students and teachers. The ANGELO process organizes the obesogenic environments by size: the macro environment (sectors like education and health systems; food industry) and the micro-environment (settings like workplaces; households). These environments are then examined, through community workshops, by four environment types — physical, economic, policy and socio-cultural.
Phase II spans a 24-month period where an intervention is actually implemented based on the findings from Phase I. Key activities involved in phase II include the collection of baseline data; training of teachers; data collection at baseline and post intervention; and the implementation of the four components of the project.
Phase III will span a 6-month period and will involve evaluation (outcome and impact) of the project as well as Process evaluation (actually occurs in Phase II).
The project has five targeted behaviours:
- Eating a Variety of Foods Daily
- Eating Fruits and Vegetables Daily
- Eating Breakfast Daily
- Reducing Daily Intake of Fats, Salts and Sugary Snacks and Drinks
- Engaging in a Variety of Physical Activity daily
The project has four components:
- Component I: Behaviour Curricula on Nutrition and Physical Activity
- Component II: Specific Nutrition and Physical Activity Programmes
- Component III: Building Supportive Environments at School
- Component IV: Building Supportive Environments at Home and in the Community
The first component — Behaviour Curricula on Nutrition and Physical Activity — is used to inculcate predetermined behavioural lessons within the subject areas of Mathematics, Social Studies, Science, Language Arts and Physical Education. The personal skills emphasized were self-assessment and monitoring; goal setting; development of relative cognitive, affective, psychomotor and behavioural skills required for the voluntary adoption of the targeted behaviours. Teachers of the intervention schools were trained for this initiative to enable a cohesive understanding of importance of the implemented strategies in the classroom. The second component — Specific Nutrition and Physical Activity Programme — pursues the school community via incorporating information on diet and exercise into promotional days (including International health observances) or extracurricular activities. The third component — Building Supportive Environments at School — works with the school personnel to amend foods available for students as well as targeting the physical activity facilities. The final component — Building Supportive Environments at Home and In the Community — involves parental participation of intervention students to help their child embrace a healthy lifestyle.