Texas GROW! EAT! GO!

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In collaboration with Texas AgriLife Extension Service and Texas A&M University, we will implement and evaluate the impact of 2 intervention programs (the Junior Master Gardner Program, and Walk Across Texas Program) designed to improve physical activity and eating behaviors of children at thirty-two CATCH elementary schools in Texas.

The overall goal of this Randomized Controlled Trial is to assess the efficacy of a Comprehensive School Health program (i.e. CATCH) enhanced with theory-based, family-focused, experiential garden, nutrition and/or physical activity programs on the prevalence of child obesity in 3rd grade students (n=1600 students in 32 schools). The home food and physical activity environments will be targeted through the following two Extension programs: 1) Revised version of Junior Master Gardener (JMG) Curriculum: Health and Nutrition From the Garden, and 2) Walk Across Texas (WAT).  Schools will be randomized into 4 treatment conditions: CATCH only, CATCH plus JMG, CATCH plus WAT, or CATCH plus JMG and WAT.

Secondary goals are to determine:

  1. The effectiveness of Extension Master Volunteers in engaging parents and in maintaining  family-focused interventions in schools,
  2. Overall cost benefit of interventions
  3. Improve learning outcomes in science, math and language arts

Impact of school-based vegetable garden and physical activity coordinated health interventions on weight status and weight-related behaviors of ethnically diverse, low-income students: Study design and baseline data of the Texas, Grow! Eat! Go!...

(Evans A, Ranjit N, Hoelscher D, Jovanovic C, Lopez M, McIntosh A, Ory M, Whittlesey L, McKyer L, Kirk A, Smith C, Walton C, Heredia N, Warren J; BMC Public Health; 2016)

Using Family-Focused Garden, Nutrition, and Physical Activity Programs To Reduce Childhood Obesity: The Texas! Go! Eat! Grow! Pilot Study

(Spears-Lanoix EC, McKyer EL, Evans A, McIntosh WA, Ory M, Whittlesey L, Kirk A, Hoelscher DM, Warren JL; Childhood Obesity, 2015)

Photo of Alexandra (Sandra) van den Berg

Alexandra (Sandra) van den Berg, PhD

Principal Investigator, GAVA Evaluation Study Photo of Carolyn Smith

Carolyn Smith

School Physical Activity and Nutrition (SPAN) Project Director; Texas Grow! Eat! Go! (TGEG)/Project Director; Texas Childhood Obesity Prevention Policy Evaluation (T-COPPE)/Project Coordinator
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Center to "takeover" at Bullock Museum food exhibit

From interactive cooking demonstrations to nutrition presentations, representatives from the Center and UTHealth School of Public Health will show how the lessons from the exhibit relate to our ongoing public health research and initiatives in the Central Texas community.

UTHealth partners on gardening initiative to fight childhood obesity

HOUSTON – (April 25, 2011) – The use of family-focused gardening in the fight against childhood obesity may become a growing trend with a near $5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to a Texas higher education partnership.

CHSD faculty fellow promotes family vegetable gardening

Arch One Newsletter – (February 5, 2013) – Third graders are learning how to create vegetable gardens and prepare meals from their crops in the “Texas Grow! Eat! Go!” initiative, part of a 5-year, $5 million study funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.