AwardsDannon Institute Award: EatFit is the recipient of the distinguished Dannon Institute Award (2003) for Excellence in Community Nutrition. The program was evaluated using four criteria: innovation/creativity, replicability, theory base, and evaluation data. As a result, the program received a $5,000 award to further develop and expand the program. It was also featured in Dannon’s Community Nutritionary® on-line newsletter.
National 4-H Curriculum “Nationally Reviewed and Recommended”: In September 2002, the National 4-H Curriculum Jury determined that the EatFit curriculum fully met the fourteen National 4-H Criteria for Youth Development. It was published in the October 2002 Abstracts and made available at the National 4-H Agents Association Conference at Norfolk, VA.
Research ResultsTo assess the effectiveness of the EatFit intervention, 46 students participated in a crossover, controlled field trial. Results show that the intervention promotes positive changes in dietary behaviors and physical activity self-efficacy. Participants reported high goal commitment, evidence that the goal setting procedures were well accepted.
To investigate the effectiveness of the guided goal setting component of EatFit, 94 students participated in a randomized controlled field trial. The addition of the guided goal setting component to this nutrition and physical activity intervention for middle school students improved students’ dietary behaviors, physical activity self-efficacy, and physical activity behaviors as compared to the same intervention without goal setting. We assessed treatment participants’ goal commitment as well as control participants’ spontaneous goal settingto investigate the true impact of guided goal setting.
The observed spontaneous goal setting was in itself significant in that the goals did not contain important goal attributes, known to increase goal effectiveness - specific, proximal, difficult, and attainable. Guided goal setting ensures that selected goals contain desired attributes for effectiveness while allowing adolescents to select their own goals. This is the first such study to report on goal setting effectiveness for nutrition and physical activity with middle school adolescents.
In both studies, the target population is low income, ethnically diverse, male and female, 7th and 8th grade students. Details on these research projects may be found, along with other EatFit materials, at http://efnep.ucdavis.edu/EatFitMarketing.htm.
A review of the goal setting literature for children, adolescents, and adults was completed and submitted for publication.
PublicationsShilts M, Lamp C, Horowitz M, Townsend MS. EatFit impacts academic performance in mathematics and English: a pilot study. J Nutrition Educ Behavior In press.
Horowitz M, Shilts M, Lamp C, Townsend MS. A standards-driven evaluation of academic performance: an 8-step process for nutrition educators. J Nutrition Educ Behavior In press.
Shilts M, Smith D, Ontai-Grzebik L, Townsend MS. Evidence to support the use of the retrospective pretest method to measure dietary behavior and self-efficacy in adolescents. J Youth Development. In press.
Horowitz, M, Shilts, MK, Townsend, MS. Adapting a Diet Analysis Program for an Adolescent Audience. J Nutrition Educ Behav. 2005; 37:43-44.
Shilts MK, Horowitz M, Townsend MS. Goal setting as a strategy for dietary and physical activity behavior change: a review of the literature. Am J Health Promot (in press).
Shilts MK, Horowitz M, Townsend MS. An Innovative Approach to Goal Setting for Adolescents: Guided Goal Setting J Nutrition Educ Behav. 2004; 36: 155-156.
Shilts MK, Townsend MS, Horowitz M. Pilot Study of the EatFit Intervention to Determine Sample Size and Protocol for a Randomized Controlled Trial, Focus on Cancer Prevention Research Brief. Center for Advanced Studies in Nutrition and Social Marketing, University of California at Davis; November 2002:2. CRBriefVol1num2.pdf. Accessed April 14, 2003.
Horowitz M, Shilts MK, Townsend MS. Eatfit: A goal oriented intervention that challenges adolescents to improve their eating and fitness choices. A Theory-driven, Behaviorally Focused, Nutrition and Fitness Intervention for Adolescents. J Nutrition Educ Behav 2004;36:43-44.
Townsend M.S., Shilts MK, Horowitz M. Eatfit: An intervention effectiveness trial for increasing dietary and physical activity self-efficacy and behaviors. International Society of Behavioral Nutrition & Physical Activity 2003;15:121P
Shilts MK, Horowitz M, Townsend M.S. Eatfit: A randomized controlled trial to assess the effectiveness of “guided goal setting” among adolescents. International Society of Behavioral Nutrition & Physical Activity 2003;15:122P
Shilts MK, Horowitz M, Townsend M.S. A pilot study of a theory driven, goal focused nutrition and physical activity intervention for middle school adolescents. (International Society of Behavioral Nutrition & Physical Activity) ISBNPA 2002;14:69.
Townsend M.S., Shilts MK, Horowitz M. Computerized education intervention challenges adolescents to improve dietary behaviors through personal assessment and guided goal setting. J FASEB 16;A383.
Horowitz M, Shilts MK, Townsend M.S. Eatfit: A goal oriented program that challenges adolescents to improve their eating and fitness choices. JNEB. 2004; 36: 43-44.