Get fit with the Grizzlies: A community-school-home initiative to fight childhood obesity led by a professional sports organization

Carol Irwin, Richard Irwin, Phyllis Richey, Maureen Miller, Justin Boddie, Teresa Dickerson

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: Professional sports organizations in the United States have notable celebrity status, and several teams have used this "star power" to collaborate with local schools toward the goal of affecting childhood obesity (e.g., NFL Play 60). Program effectiveness is unknown owing to the absence of comprehensive evaluations for any of these initiatives. In 2006, the Memphis Grizzlies, the city's National Basketball Association (NBA) franchise, launched "Get Fit with the Grizzlies," a 6-week, curricular addition focusing on nutrition and physical activity for the 4th and 5th grades in Memphis City Schools. The health-infused mini-unit was delivered by the physical education teachers during their classes. National and local sponsors whose business objectives matched the "Get Fit" objectives were solicited to fund the program. Here we highlight the program evaluation results from the first year of "Get Fit" and the Journal of School Health article. However, the "Get Fit" program has now taken place in Memphis area schools for 5 years. During the 2010-11 school-year, "Get Fit" evolved into a new program called "Healthy Home Court" with Kellogg's as the primary sponsor. "Healthy Home Court" included the original fitness part of the program and added a breakfast component at high schools where data indicated great need. Kellogg's sponsored special "carts" with healthy breakfast options (i.e., fruit, protein bars) for students to grab and eat. This program matched their existing program "Food Away from Home." Research supports the objectives of these programs and has shown that breakfast consumption can have a positive impact on academic achievement, behavior in school, and overall health status. Method: Survey research employed over the first 4 years measured health knowledge acquisition and health behavior change using a matched pre/post test design (n=2210) in randomly chosen schools (n=18) from all elementary schools in the Memphis area. McNemar's test for significance (p<.05) was applied to measure correct answers pre and post. Also, breakfast attendance numbers were observed for intervention high schools and compared with breakfast attendance numbers from control high schools. Results: Analyses confirmed that, from the first year through this past one (2010-11), there was significant health knowledge acquisition and health behavior improvement at post-intervention. Breakfast numbers matched these findings. Also, exit polling that took place at one intervention high school indicated the students attending the breakfast assembly gained knowledge and positively changed attitudes regarding the academic and health benefits of eating a healthy breakfast. Conclusions: This community-school-home initiative using a professional team's celebrity platform is largely overlooked by school districts and should be considered as an effective way to confront childhood obesity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAdvancing Cancer Education and Healthy Living in Our Communities
Subtitle of host publicationPutting Visions and Innovations into Action - Selected Papers from the St. Jude Cure4Kids Global Summit 2011
PublisherIOS Press
Pages163-167
Number of pages5
ISBN (Print)9781614990871
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2012
EventSt. Jude Cure4Kids Global Summit 2011 - Memphis, TN, United States
Duration: Jun 9 2011Jun 11 2011

Publication series

NameStudies in Health Technology and Informatics
Volume172
ISSN (Print)0926-9630
ISSN (Electronic)1879-8365

Other

OtherSt. Jude Cure4Kids Global Summit 2011
CountryUnited States
CityMemphis, TN
Period6/9/116/11/11

Fingerprint

Pediatric Obesity
Sports
Breakfast
Health
Knowledge acquisition
School Health Services
Health Behavior
Program Evaluation
Students
Nutrition
Fruits
Stars
Basketball
Physical Education and Training
Education
Insurance Benefits
Financial Management
Proteins
Research
Health Status

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Health Informatics
  • Health Information Management

Cite this

Irwin, C., Irwin, R., Richey, P., Miller, M., Boddie, J., & Dickerson, T. (2012). Get fit with the Grizzlies: A community-school-home initiative to fight childhood obesity led by a professional sports organization. In Advancing Cancer Education and Healthy Living in Our Communities: Putting Visions and Innovations into Action - Selected Papers from the St. Jude Cure4Kids Global Summit 2011 (pp. 163-167). (Studies in Health Technology and Informatics; Vol. 172). IOS Press. https://doi.org/10.3233/978-1-61499-088-8-163

Get fit with the Grizzlies : A community-school-home initiative to fight childhood obesity led by a professional sports organization. / Irwin, Carol; Irwin, Richard; Richey, Phyllis; Miller, Maureen; Boddie, Justin; Dickerson, Teresa.

Advancing Cancer Education and Healthy Living in Our Communities: Putting Visions and Innovations into Action - Selected Papers from the St. Jude Cure4Kids Global Summit 2011. IOS Press, 2012. p. 163-167 (Studies in Health Technology and Informatics; Vol. 172).

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Irwin, C, Irwin, R, Richey, P, Miller, M, Boddie, J & Dickerson, T 2012, Get fit with the Grizzlies: A community-school-home initiative to fight childhood obesity led by a professional sports organization. in Advancing Cancer Education and Healthy Living in Our Communities: Putting Visions and Innovations into Action - Selected Papers from the St. Jude Cure4Kids Global Summit 2011. Studies in Health Technology and Informatics, vol. 172, IOS Press, pp. 163-167, St. Jude Cure4Kids Global Summit 2011, Memphis, TN, United States, 6/9/11. https://doi.org/10.3233/978-1-61499-088-8-163
Irwin C, Irwin R, Richey P, Miller M, Boddie J, Dickerson T. Get fit with the Grizzlies: A community-school-home initiative to fight childhood obesity led by a professional sports organization. In Advancing Cancer Education and Healthy Living in Our Communities: Putting Visions and Innovations into Action - Selected Papers from the St. Jude Cure4Kids Global Summit 2011. IOS Press. 2012. p. 163-167. (Studies in Health Technology and Informatics). https://doi.org/10.3233/978-1-61499-088-8-163
Irwin, Carol ; Irwin, Richard ; Richey, Phyllis ; Miller, Maureen ; Boddie, Justin ; Dickerson, Teresa. / Get fit with the Grizzlies : A community-school-home initiative to fight childhood obesity led by a professional sports organization. Advancing Cancer Education and Healthy Living in Our Communities: Putting Visions and Innovations into Action - Selected Papers from the St. Jude Cure4Kids Global Summit 2011. IOS Press, 2012. pp. 163-167 (Studies in Health Technology and Informatics).
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