Impact of the Pathways intervention on dietary intakes of American Indian schoolchildren

John H Himes, Kim Ring, Joel Gittelsohn, Leslie Cunningham-Sabo, Judith Weber, Janice Thompson, Lisa J Harnack, Chirayath Suchindran

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations


Background. The Pathways study was a randomized, 3-year trial of obesity prevention in American Indian Children. An important goal of the Pathways intervention was to significantly decrease the percentage of calories eaten as fat by the intervention children, relative to controls. This paper reports the effects of the Pathways intervention on dietary intake. Methods. Two types of dietary data were analyzed from random samples of children in 41 schools: direct observation of school lunch intake at baseline (2nd grade) and follow-up (5th grade) (n = 470), and 24-hour dietary recalls at follow-up only (n = 620). Nutrient contents of school meals and recalls were calculated by NDS and NDS-R software (University of Minnesota), using vendor products and recipes from each school. Results. Based on lunch observations, the intervention was associated with significant decreases in mean percentage of calories from total fat (3.6%) and saturated fat (2.1%) relative to controls, and a significant increase in the percentage of calories from total carbohydrate (3.7%). Compared with the control children, intervention children reported significantly smaller 24-hour intakes of energy (263 kcal), protein (9.5 g), total fat (15.1 g), saturated fat (6.0 g), and polyunsaturated fat (2.3 g); and as a percent of calories, total fat (2.5%) and saturated fat (1.1%). Mean intake of carbohydrates as a percentage of calories was significantly greater in intervention children by 2.5%, compared with controls. Conclusions. The Pathways intervention successfully reduced the intake of percent calories from fat and saturated fat, at school lunch and over the whole day.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S55-S61
JournalPreventive medicine
Issue numberSUPPL. 1
StatePublished - Dec 2003


  • American Indian
  • Diet
  • Dietary fat
  • Obesity


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