Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy




Osvaldo F. Morera


INTRODUCTION: After-school activities provide valuable opportunities for health promotion activities that do not interfere with the regular school day, especially in minority populations with higher rates of obesity and type 2 diabetes. The current study is an evaluation of an after-school health education and physical activity program conducted in nine elementary schools in 2008 in El Paso, Texas. METHODS: The intervention consisted of a 10-12 week (twice a week) after school program consisting of a pilot (with two experimental schools) and main intervention (six schools each including a control and experimental group). The main outcome variables were Body Mass Index, aerobic capacity health knowledge and intentions to eat healthy. RESULTS: Participants (n=1103) were predominantly socio-economically disadvantaged Hispanic 3rd to 5th graders. The intervention was successful in recruitment, implementation and retention of participants (82 percent retention rate). The pilot study (n=172) found a significant reduction in Body Mass Index, increased aerobic capacity, but no significant increases in health knowledge and intentions to eat healthy. In the main intervention, experimental group participants (n=323) reduced their BMI at post test, but this reduction was not significantly larger than the control group (n=608). Intervention group participants significantly increased their intentions to eat healthy foods compared to control group participants, but no differences for health knowledge were found. DISCUSSION: While the findings in regards to changes in health indicators were modest, all findings were in the expected direction. The current project provides evidence for a strong need and desire to participate in projects that are accessible and address primary prevention of chronic diseases within a population that has a high prevalence of risk factors and limited access to care.




Received from ProQuest

File Size

139 pages

File Format


Rights Holder

Hendrik de heer