Background. The purpose of this study was to examine the impact of the Pathways intervention on pychosocial variables related to physical activity and diet in American Indian children. Methods. Schools serving American Indian children were randomized to a multicomponent intervention or control condition. At baseline (fall of third grade) and in the spring semester of third, fourth, and fifth grades 755 boys and 692 girls completed a classroom-administered questionnaire. The questionnaire assessed self-efficacy, knowledge, and behavioral intentions related to diet and physical activity, as well as weight loss behaviors and body image. Results. Knowledge of nutrition and physical activity messages increased in both boys and girls in the intervention group compared to controls; however, knowledge of which foods contained more fat did not increase consistently. Compared to controls, self-efficacy to be physically active increased among girls in intervention schools, but not among boys, whereas self-efficacy to make more healthy food choices did not increase more than in controls in either gender. In the intervention group, compared to controls, healthy food intentions and participation in physically active behaviors increased in both boys and girls. Perception of healthy body size and weight loss attempts did not differ in the intervention and control groups. Conclusion. The Pathways intervention program had a positive impact on several aspects of obesity-related knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors.
- American Indian