Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science in Nursing

Degree Level





Shreve, Marilou

Committee Member/Reader

Scott, Allison

Committee Member/Second Reader

Vowell Johnson, Kelly


Obesity is an increasing health issue both in the United States and worldwide. Furthermore, childhood obesity is increasing in prevalence. Childhood obesity is associated with an increased risk of comorbidities in adulthood. Obesity in childhood and adolescence makes one more likely to become obese during adulthood. This study sought to determine the effect of a school-based obesity prevention program on diabetes and cardiovascular risk factors such as body mass index (BMI), blood pressure, waist circumference, and acanthosis nigricans. Measurements were taken before education in the fall semester, and again after two education sessions in the spring semester. Student and faculty researchers at the University of Arkansas developed the Eat Better, Move More program to be implemented in two classrooms in George Elementary School. Teaching points were developed and given to teachers who implemented the education in their classrooms. Topics covered in the teaching included sleep habits, exercise, nutrition, and healthy habits. A paired sample T-test was used to evaluate the difference in pre- and post-education data points. Results showed a significant difference in pre- and post- education BMI; however, the BMI increased significantly instead of the desired decrease. Results showed no significant difference in pre- and post-education blood pressure or waist circumference. Results of a Wilcoxon sign-rank test showed no significant difference in pre- and post-education acanthosis nigricans. Results of the study indicate that the school-based program did not have a positive impact on obesity and cardiovascular risk factors such as BMI, waist circumference, blood pressure, and acanthosis nigricans. Further research can be done to determine the effects of a long-term program on these risk factors.


Childhood obesity, obesity prevention, school program