Outcome Evaluation of a Policy-Mandated Lifestyle and Environmental Modification Program in a National Job Training Center

Elizabeth Yakes Jimenez, Amanda Harris, Donald Luna, Daniel Velasquez, Jonathan Slovik, Alberta Kong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Excess weight gain is common when adolescents become young adults, but there are no obesity prevention or weight management interventions that have been tested for emerging adults who follow non-traditional post-secondary paths, such as enrolling in job training programs. We evaluated Healthy Eating & Active Lifestyles (HEALs), a policy-mandated lifestyle education/environmental modification program, at a job training center for low-income 16–24 year olds. We examined average change in body mass index (BMI) z-score from baseline to 6 months for emerging adults (aged 16–24 years) in pre-HEALs implementation (n = 125) and post-HEALs implementation (n = 126) cohorts living at the job training center, by baseline weight status. In both cohorts, average BMI z-score significantly increased from baseline to 6 months for students with BMI < 25. Average BMI z-score significantly decreased for the overweight (BMI 25 to <30; −0.11, p =.03) and obese (BMI ≥ 30; −0.11, p =.001) students only within the post-HEALs cohort; changes within the pre-HEALs cohort and between cohorts were not significant. HEALs may promote positive weight-related trends for overweight/obese students, but prevention efforts for non-overweight/obese students need to be improved.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)466-471
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Community Health
Volume42
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2017
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Adolescent
  • Obesity
  • School health services
  • Young adult

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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