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Document Type

Thesis - University Access Only

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Health and Nutritional Sciences

First Advisor

Jessica Meendering


school-based intervention, physical activity, sedentary time, accelerometers, children


Introduction: In the United States, approximately 9 million preschool to high school students are considered obese. Additionally, the prevalence of overweight youth ages 6-19, has more than doubled in the past twenty years (1). Physical activity (PA) is a fundamental component in the prevention and treatment of obesity (2, 3). The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggest that children have at least 60 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous PA per day (4). School-based interventions an ideal and resourceful method to address health behaviors (5). Many nutrition interventions include a small PA component. However, the PA component is often added as an afterthought. This is the first study to look at the ability of a primarily nutrition focused intervention to indirectly affect PA patterns in child participants. Purpose: The purpose of this study was to determine the ability of KidQuest, a school-based nutrition intervention program designed for 5th to 6th grade students, to increase physical activity and decrease sedentary behaviors in children. Methods: Physical activity and sedentary time were assessed via accelerometer (Actigraph GT3x+) in 395 fifth and 6th grade children for 7 days pre and post intervention/control. One hundred seven children (intervention N=43 [8 males, 35 females] and control N=64 [29 males, 35 females]) met compliance requirements at both assessment periods. Daily minutes of sedentary time, light physical activity, moderate physical activity, vigorous physical activity, and moderate-to-vigorous physical activity were calculated for all subjects using Evenson cutpoints (6). Changes in PA and ST were evaluated using mixed-model ANCOVAs. Statistical significance was set at p≤ 0.05. Results: There were no significant differences between the intervention and control groups for pre to post changes in ST (F=0.39, p =0.555), LPA (F=0.29, p =0.612), MPA (F=3.68, p =0.104), VPA (F=0.13, p =0.733), or MVPA (F=1.11, p =0.333) Conclusion: The results of this study suggest no difference in physical activity and sedentary time in KidQuest participants compared to control. These results indicate that a primarily nutrition focused intervention cannot indirectly affect PA patterns in child participants.


Includes bibliographical references (pages 57-68).



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University


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