Reductions in child obesity among disadvantaged school children with community involvement: the Travis County CATCH Trial

Obesity (Silver Spring). 2010 Feb;18 Suppl 1:S36-44. doi: 10.1038/oby.2009.430.


The objective of this study was to compare the impact of two intervention approaches on the prevalence of child overweight and obesity: (i) Coordinated Approach To Child Health BasicPlus (CATCH BP), in which schools were provided evidence-based coordinated school health program training, materials, and facilitator support visits, and (ii) CATCH BP and Community (BPC), in which BP schools received additional promotion of community partnerships with the aim of integrating community members and organizations into schools, local decision making and action, and best practices workshops. Schools (n = 97) in four central Texas districts were recruited to participate in the 4-year project. Of the low-income schools (n = 58), 15 schools were selected to receive the BPC intervention and matched with 15 schools in the BP condition. A serial cross-sectional design was used, in which 4th grade student BMI, physical activity, and diet were assessed in the 30 schools in spring 2007 and 2008. Measurements in spring 2007 included 1,107 students, with 53% female; 61% Hispanic, and 14% African American; and mean age of 9.9 years. Adjusted prevalence of overweight/obesity (>or=85th percentile) was 42.0 and 47.4% in spring 2007 for the BP and BPC students, respectively. From spring 2007 to spring 2008, the percent of students classified as overweight/obese decreased by 1.3 percentage points (P = 0.33) in BP schools, compared to a decrease of 8.3 percentage points (P < 0.005) in students from BPC schools; the difference between conditions was significant (P = 0.05). CATCH BPC students also reported more positive trends in related behaviors. Implementation of a community-enhanced school program can be effective in reducing the prevalence of child overweight in low-income student populations.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Body Mass Index
  • Child
  • Community Participation
  • Community-Based Participatory Research
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Diet / standards*
  • Evidence-Based Medicine
  • Exercise / physiology*
  • Female
  • Health Behavior
  • Health Education / methods
  • Health Education / organization & administration
  • Health Promotion / methods
  • Health Promotion / organization & administration*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Obesity / epidemiology
  • Obesity / prevention & control
  • Outcome and Process Assessment, Health Care*
  • Overweight / epidemiology
  • Overweight / prevention & control*
  • Prevalence
  • Schools
  • Students
  • United States