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Challenge! in Middle Schools

Challenge! in Middle Schools is an obesity prevention and health promotion program targeting urban African American adolescent girls in Baltimore City middle schools. The primary goal of the study is to evaluate the impact of a multi-level intervention on adolescent girls' body composition, diet and physical activity. The study consists of both an environmental intervention as well as a small group intervention.

The environmental intervention is implemented through the formation of a Healthy & Activity Committee (HAC) consisting of students, parents, teachers and community leaders. The HAC is responsible for organizing and implementing changes to create a healthier school environment. The small group intervention, based on the original Challenge! program, is implemented during the lunch period and after school to a subset of middle-school girls. These meetings are held at the school as well as the local Y of Central Maryland facilities. Middle-school girls learn about healthy diet and exercise behaviors and how to set behavior change goals.

Currently, the project has completed both the small group and school-based interventions and is in the final data collection phase.