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ERIC Number: EJ910862
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 11
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 31
ISSN: ISSN-1932-5037
College Teaching and Community Outreaching: Service Learning in an Obesity Prevention Program
Himelein, Melissa; Passman, Liz; Phillips, Jessica M.
American Journal of Health Education, v41 n6 p368-378 Nov-Dec 2010
Background: Service learning can enrich students' knowledge, skills and commitment to occupational goals while positively affecting communities. Undergraduate students in a course on obesity engaged in service learning by assisting with a family-based obesity prevention program, Getting Into Fitness Together (GIFT). Purpose: The impact of GIFT on students and family participants was evaluated. Methods: Students (N=33) completed surveys assessing their perceptions of the course and its service learning component. Eighteen of 21 families who participated in GIFT completed questionnaires and interviews about their experience nearly six months after the program ended. Results: Students evaluated both the course and service learning very favorably; a consistent theme was that the opportunity to apply classroom learning to a real-world experience was invaluable. GIFT participants described strong satisfaction with the program (retention rate = 90%), and most (89%) reported tangible behavioral changes in physical activity or eating patterns. Discussion: Service learning in obesity prevention offered benefits for college students and participants. Especially notable aspects of the program include its emphases on full-family involvement, physical activity and family mentoring. Translation to Health Education Practice: Service learning may offer an especially influential means of introducing future health educators to the critically important topic of obesity. (Contains 4 tables.)
American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance. 1900 Association Drive, Reston, VA 20191. Tel: 800-213-7193; Fax: 703-476-9527; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A