Club Fit: Development of a Physical Activity and Healthy Eating Intervention at a Boys & Girls Club After School Program

Mark L. Wieland, Bridget K. Biggs, Tabetha A. Brockman, Amy Johnson, Sonja J. Meiers, Leslie A. Sim, Ellen Tolleson, Marcelo M. Hanza, Jennifer A. Weis, Jane R. Rosenman, Paul J. Novotny, Christi A. Patten, Matthew M. Clark, Jodi Millerbernd, Irene G. Sia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Children and adolescents from minority and low income backgrounds face social and environmental challenges to engaging in physical activity and healthy eating to maintain a healthy weight. In this study, we present pilot work to develop and implement a multi-component physical activity and healthy eating intervention at a Boys & Girls Club (BGC) afterschool program. Using a community-based participatory approach, BGC staff and academic researchers developed intervention components informed by formative studies and based on a Social Ecological Theory framework. Components included healthy eating and physical activity policy implementation, staff training, a challenge and self-monitoring program for healthy behaviors, a peer-coaching program for healthy behaviors, and a social marketing campaign. We assessed pilot feasibility through a single group, pre-post study design with measures collected at baseline and 6 months. The sample included 61 children with a mean age of 10.4 years. Mean (SD) body mass index (BMI) percentile was 72.8 (28.9); 47.5% were in the healthy weight range for their age. We found statistically significant improvements of self-efficacy and motivation for physical activity. Self-efficacy and motivation for fruit and vegetable consumption, sugary beverage consumption, and screen time improved but were not statistically different from baseline. We found no improvements of perceived social support, objectively measured physical activity, or self-reported dietary quality. Though BMI did not improve overall, a dose effect was observed such that attendance in Club Fit specific programming was significantly correlated with decreased BMI z scores. Processes and products from this study may be helpful to other communities aiming to address childhood obesity prevention through afterschool programs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)153-170
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Primary Prevention
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1 2020


  • Afterschool programs
  • Childhood obesity prevention
  • Healthy eating
  • Physical activity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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