Sixteen children were enrolled in this pilot study: 7 in the Intervention group and 9 in the Control group. Overall, participants were very overweight, with the mean baseline BMI of 28 for boys and 27 for girls. At the end of the program, no significant and meaningful improvements were observed for BMI, percent body fat, or heart rate after a 3-minute step test. Energy expenditure for the after-school-hours activities significantly decreased from baseline to the end of the study for the intervention group, while the reverse was true for the control group. Although the improvements did not reach statistical significance, both groups reported a decrease in their daily caloric intake; an increase in consumption of “heart-healthy” foods and in dietary selfconfidence to choose such foods. This abnormal finding can be explained if children in the control group participated in other programs or activities that increased their physical activities after school.
There were limitations to this evaluation. The small sample size affected the ability to detect significant improvements in the outcomes. Also, the length of the intervention program might not have been sufficient to observe changes in the outcomes. Notwithstanding the limitations, this obesity prevention program has a potential to produce desirable changes in the participants over a longer period of time. Therefore, this evaluation can be viewed as an evaluation of a pilot program which warrants further investigation into its efficacy with a larger sample size and longer program duration.