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Program evaluation

To request copies of the evaluation reports, email bodyworks@hagersharp.com. Let us know which evaluation report you would like and if you need special accommodation to access PDF files.

BodyWorks has been continuously evaluated since it first launched in 2006. All of the evaluation results have been positive, showing that parents made healthier food choices and were more physically active after participating in the BodyWorks program.

Pilot Evaluation

An independent pilot evaluation, conducted by Altarum Institute from 2006 to 2008, looked at the impact of BodyWorks on awareness, knowledge, attitudes, and practices of parents and their teen daughters in relation to physical activity and nutrition.

The evaluation showed that BodyWorks helped parents:

  • Shop for healthier food
  • Make healthier food choices
  • Decrease soda consumption
  • Increase vegetable consumption
  • Help their daughters make healthy food choices
  • Do more physical activities with their daughters

The evaluation also showed that BodyWorks parents were more likely to develop nutrition or physical activity goals and help their daughters develop nutrition or physical activity goals.

Based on the positive findings from the pilot evaluation, the BodyWorks toolkit was updated and additional BodyWorks program leaders were trained.

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Best Bones Forever! - BodyWorks Pilot Evaluation

This evaluation, conducted from 2008 to 2010 by Shattuck & Associates, investigated the effectiveness of a combined Best Bones Forever! - BodyWorks program in increasing knowledge, positive attitudes, self-efficacy, ability to overcome barriers, and healthy nutrition and physical activity behaviors.

Lessons from the Best Bones Forever! - BodyWorks pilot evaluation: Tips for trainers

  • Incorporate hands-on activities, food-related activities, and discussion time to keep parents and children engaged.
  • Work in physical activities and outdoor time when possible.
  • When appropriate, hold combined parent-child sessions.
  • Make reminder phone calls before sessions to encourage participants to attend.
  • Add role-playing during discussion time to hold parents' and childrens' interest.

The evaluation showed that for healthy diet and physical activity behaviors, the BodyWorks program increased the following areas:

  • Knowledge and favorable attitudes
  • Confidence (self-efficacy) to engage in healthy behaviors
  • Intentions to engage in healthy behaviors
  • Frequency of health behaviors:
    • Tracking progress in a journal
    • Working toward goals
    • Planning healthy meals and snacks
    • Preparing healthy family snacks and meals
    • Limiting screen time

Based on the results of this evaluation, bone health content from the Best Bones Forever! campaign was incorporated into the BodyWorks program materials.

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Multisite Outcome Evaluation

With positive evidence from previous evaluations, OWH contracted with Shattuck & Associates to conduct an independent, multi-component evaluation of the BodyWorks program from 2010 to 2013.

Lessons from the multisite outcome evaluation: Tips for trainers

  • If attendance is low, encourage participation by offering prizes such as coupons, water bottles, or gift cards.
  • Plan interactive activities such as meal preparation demonstrations.
  • Encourage parents and children to review the toolkit materials together.
  • Use props to help participants understand nutrition concepts such as serving sizes.
  • Think about your participants when planning sessions — for example, if you have busy families who are always on the go, highlight quick and easy nutritious meals.

This evaluation included a larger sample, sons as well as daughters, programs in Spanish and English, and a follow-up evaluation two months after the BodyWorks program concluded.

Results from this study showed that participants in the program showed positive changes in their health behaviors and these changes were largely maintained two months after the conclusion of the program. BodyWorks helped participants:

  • Better understand healthy eating and their physical activity needs
  • Feel more confident about making healthy food choices, exercising, and talking about nutrition and physical activity with their families
  • Increase healthy behaviors such as making healthy eating choices, participating in physical activities, and setting goals related to these habits
  • Overcome barriers to eating healthy and being physically active

This evaluation also found that boys benefited from the program as much as girls.

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Sadler, M.D., Saperstein, S.L., Golan, E., Lotenberg, L.D., Sawatzki, D., Abercrombie, R.A., Teel, C. (2013). Integrating Bone Health Information into Existing Health Education Efforts. ICAN: Infant, Child, & Adolescent Nutrition; 5(3): 177–183.  

Borden, V.M., Labiner-Wolfe, J., Blake, S.M., Marr, A., Rowe, J., Wasserman, J. (2012). BodyWorks: A parent-focused program to promote healthful eating and physical activity for children and adolescents. Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior; 44(2): 192–193.

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Content last updated: March 26, 2013.

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