Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School

Health and Nutritional Sciences

First Advisor

Mary Bowne

Second Advisor

Kendra Kattelmann


The prevalence of childhood obesity remains high within the United States, which can lead to long-term harmful effects. During the first five years of children’s lives, healthy eating habits and physical activity patterns are formed, so the preschool years are a critical time to begin obesity prevention (4). Because the preschool years are crucial for providing healthy eating habits and physical activity patterns, there is the need for childhood obesity interventions. iGrow Readers is a cluster-randomized control study concentrated on children 3-5 years of age recruited from childcare centers from South Dakota, Nebraska, and Minnesota. Fourteen child care centers with a total of 35 classrooms were enrolled. Intervention classrooms implemented the 8-week iGrow Readers curriculum. The curriculum paired developmentally appropriate children’s books with nutrition and physical activity information and activities. Results: The total study population included 293 children ages 3-5 years. Of the 293 children, 176 were in the intervention group and 117 in the control group. Knowledge scores for nutrition and physical activity were collected and summarized for mean scores based on gender and age, shown in Table 1.1. The children’s mean nutrition and physical activity knowledge scores increased with age in both the control group and intervention group. Discussion: Data between pre, post, and follow-up mean knowledge scores of the intervention and control group based on age show potential increases in scores. Due to the increase of knowledge scores with age, the iGrow Readers curriculum has the potential to impart nutrition and physical activity knowledge, which can then develop nutrition and physical activity behavior as they continue to age. iGrow Readers curriculum is a feasible curriculum that can be implemented into childcare centers. Additional statistics and research need to be conducted to determine knowledge change.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Health education (Preschool)
Exercise for children.
Preschool children -- Nutrition.
Obesity in children -- Prevention.



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University



Rights Statement

In Copyright