Objective: To assess an intervention strategy--a 6-week obesity intervention program, Project KidFIT, at 3 Houston, Texas park centers--to address the obesity epidemic in minority children.
Study design: Project KidFIT is a physical fitness and nutrition education program aimed at promoting the benefits of physical activity and improving nutrition knowledge in overweight (body mass index [BMI] > or = 95th percentile) minority children.
Results: A total of 120 minority children (77 boys and 43 girls; mean age, 10.1 years) were enrolled in the program. Approximately 71% of these children were at risk of overweight (BMI > or = 85th percentile), and 54% were overweight. Decreases in body weight (0.3 +/- 0.2 kg [mean +/- standard error]) and BMI (0.1 +/- 0.1 kg/m2) were detected in the overweight children, whereas increases in body weight (0.4 +/- 0.1 kg) and BMI (0.2 +/- 0.1 kg/m2) were observed in the children with normal body weight (BMI < 85th percentile but > 5th percentile). Significant improvements (P < .05) in flexibility, muscular endurance, and muscular strength were detected in all children, regardless of weight status.
Conclusions: The findings suggest that the city park-based KidFIT program might be effective at promoting stabilization for body weight and BMI and improving physical activity performance and nutrition knowledge in overweight minority children.