CATCH (Coordinated Approach To Child Health)

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Project Overview

For information on training and implementation, visit the CATCH Global Foundation website

CATCH (Coordinated Approach To Child Health) is a school-based health program designed to promote physical activity and healthy food choices and prevent tobacco use.  CATCH transforms a child’s environment, culture, and society by coordinating child health efforts across all aspects of the educational experience: classroom, food services, physical education, and family.  Proven to reverse childhood obesity in El Paso and Austin schools, and adopted by more than 8,500 schools in the United States and abroad, it is the most widespread and researched coordinated school health program in the world.

Visit catchinfo.org for the latest on the CATCH program

CATCH is supported by over 25 years of rigorous research and development, much of which has been and continues to be conducted by faculty with the Michael & Susan Dell Center for Healthy Living.  While CATCH originated as an elementary school-based program (CATCH Elementary), recent research projects at the Center have expanded and adapted the program for preschool (CATCH Early Childhood) through eighth grade (CATCH Middle School) as well as after-school (CATCH Kids Club).

Below is a list of past funded research projects conducted by the Michael & Susan Dell Center for Healthy Living:

Past funded CATCH studies

Dell CATCH Elementary School - The Travis County Dell CATCH Project was a four year school- and community-based project aimed at preventing childhood obesity and promoting physical activity (PA) and healthy eating in elementary school-aged children from primarily economically disadvantaged backgrounds. 

Central Texas CATCH Middle School Project - The Central Texas CATCH Middle School Project aims to promote energy balance-related behaviors in middle school students via organizational enhancements to the middle school environment.  The project builds off the CATCH elementary school program framework and includes the following core components: CATCH PE, CATCH classroom curriculum, CATCH Cafeteria/Food Services, and CATCH Family.

Statewide Dissemination of CATCH Middle School - This project will disseminate the recently updated CATCH Middle School program to 300 public middle schools throughout Texas with student populations exhibiting a higher-than-average risk of being overweight or obese.  This dissemination will take place between November 1, 2011, and September 30, 2012; evaluation and reporting will be finalized by October 31, 2012.

Dissemination of CATCH Middle School in Dallas Independent School District - For this project we will recruit, train, and fully implement the recently updated CATCH Middle School program in 35 public middle schools in the Dallas Independent School District.

CATCH in Underserved Populations (CATCH UP): Head Start on Healthy Living, Healthy Homes 3 Year Survey - The purpose of this study is to test the efficacy of the CATCH Early Childhood program in reducing and prevalence of obesity and promoting healthy eating and physical activity among 3 to 5 year old children enrolled in Harris County Department of Education Head Start.

CATCH in Underserved Populations (pilot study) - The purpose of this project was to develop the CATCH Early Childhood program and pilot test it for feasibility and acceptability among 3 to 5 year old children enrolled in Harris County Department of Education Head Start centers.

Harris County Steps CATCH Project - The Steps to a Healthier Houston-Harris County Consortium was funded in 2005 to implement the Coordinated Approach To Child Health (CATCH) in all Harris County public elementary schools.

CATCH Evaluation Model (CATCH ‘EM) - The objective of this project was to develop a user-friendly module of evaluation instruments, protocols, and procedures that could be implemented by individual schools to determine the impact effects and process evaluation of the CATCH Program.

CATCH Nutrition Plus - The primary goal of this study was to revise the original CATCH curriculum which is focused on prevention of cardiovascular risk factors to an obesity prevention program.

CATCH En Vivo: Live Life, Don’t Watch It - The primary aim of this project was to develop an add-on component to CATCH to educate families and children to reduce screen time, and consumption of heavily advertised junk food while promoting alternate activities and enhancing factors for healthy weight maintenance in the Texas counties of McAllen and Harlingen.

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Comida en las Fiestas Escolares

9/15/2015 - La realidad de las fiestas escolares en un año.

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Food at School Parties

9/15/15 - What one YEAR of school party food really looks like.

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GO, SLOW, WHOA Flowchart

4/1/15 - Follow this flowchart to learn how to make healthier food choices—try to eat more GO foods than SLOW foods, and eat WHOA foods in very small amounts.

Thumbnail image for GO, SLOW, WHOA Diagrama de Flujo

GO, SLOW, WHOA Diagrama de Flujo

4/1/15 - Sigue el camino para aprender cómo elegir alimentos más saludables—trata de comer más alimentos GO que alimentos SLOW, y come alimentos WHOA en pequeñas cantidades.

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Health Fits Into Every Day Infographic

8/31/14 - Health Fits Into Every Day: Tie in all of the CATCH "Health Fits Into Every Day" tip sheets with this infographic.

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Haga que La Salud Forme Parte de Todos Sus Días: Beber Agua

8/30/14 - Aquí hay algunos consejos sobre cómo colocar agua en todos los días.

Thumbnail image for Health Fits into Every Day: Healthy Snacking Tip Sheet

Health Fits into Every Day: Healthy Snacking Tip Sheet

8/30/14 - Learn about healthy "GO" snacks that help kids maintain energy and focus during the day.

Thumbnail image for Haga que La Salud Forme Parte de Todos Sus Días: Actividad Física

Haga que La Salud Forme Parte de Todos Sus Días: Actividad Física

8/30/14 - Aprenda cómo hacer que sus hijos estén activos durante al menos 60 minutos todos los días.

Thumbnail image for Haga que La Salud Forme Parte de Todos Sus Días: Desayuno

Haga que La Salud Forme Parte de Todos Sus Días: Desayuno

8/30/14 - Aquí hay consejos sobre cómo comer un desayuno saludable todos los días.

Thumbnail image for Haga que La Salud Forme Parte de Todos Sus Días: Botanas

Haga que La Salud Forme Parte de Todos Sus Días: Botanas

8/30/14 - Conozca las botanas saludables "GO" que ayudan a los niños a mantener la energía y concentrarse durante el día.

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Health Fits into Every Day: Water Tip Sheet

8/30/14 - Here are some tips on how to fit water into every day.

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Health Fits Into Every Day: Physical Activity Guide

8/30/14 - Learn how to get your kids active for at least 60 minutes every day.

Thumbnail image for Health Fits into Every Day: Healthy Breakfast Tip Sheet

Health Fits into Every Day: Healthy Breakfast Tip Sheet

8/30/14 - Here are tips on how to eat a healthy breakfast every day.

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Leading Healthy Indicators for CATCH

2/1/14 - CATCH provides a comprehensive and coordinated framework to address many of the key Leading Health Indicators from Healthy People 2020.

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CATCH in IOM report on Accelerating Progress in Obesity Prevention

5/1/12 - This excerpt from the 2012 Institute of Medicine report on Accelerating Progress in Obesity Prevention discusses the evidence base for the CATCH program.

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"Eat Smart" con CATCH

4/2/10 - Conoces tus alimentos GO - SLOW - WHOA?

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Eat Smart with CATCH

4/2/10 - Do you know your GO, SLOW, WHOA foods? This presentation can be used to help teachers, parents, and students learn about the CATCH program's GO, SLOW, WHOA stoplight system for categorizing foods.

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Escuelas Primarias de AISD y el Programa CATCH

4/1/10 - Aprenda sobre los componentes clave del programa de la escuela primaria CATCH con este folleto.

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CATCH Healthy Habits at Home

4/1/10 - This handout contains simple steps that will add up to a big difference in your family’s health. Be a CATCH MVP and select one or two new habits that are best suited for you and your family!

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Hábitos Sanos De CATCH En El Hogar

4/1/10 - Este folleto contiene pasos simples que se sumarán a una gran diferencia en la salud de su familia.

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CATCH Your Students At Their Best

4/1/10 - This flyer for parents includes healthy tips from the CATCH program.

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Niños sanos aprenden mejor!

4/1/10 - Este volante para padres incluye consejos saludables del programa CATCH.

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Your Elementary School and the CATCH Program

4/1/10 - Learn about the key components of the CATCH elementary school program with this handout.

Environmental characteristics and student physical activity in PE class: findings from two large urban areas of Texas

(Skala KA, Springer AE, Sharma SV, Hoelscher DM, Kelder SH; J Phys Act Health; 2012)

From NIH to Texas schools: Policy impact of the Coordinated Approach To Child Health (CATCH) program in Texas

(Hoelscher DM, Springer AE, Menendez TH, Cribb PW, Kelder SH ; Journal of Physical Activity and Health , 2011)

Reductions in Child Obesity Among Disadvantaged School Children With Community Involvement: The Travis County CATCH Trial

(Hoelscher DM, Springer AE, Ranjit N, Perry CL, Evans AE, Stigler M, Kelder SH; Obesity, 2010)

Photo of Courtney Byrd-Williams

Courtney Byrd-Williams, PhD

Principal Investigator, Texas Mother-Friendly Worksite; Director, Maternal and Child Health Training Program Photo of Deanna Hoelscher

Deanna Hoelscher, PhD, RDN, LD, CNS, FISBNPA

Co-Principal Investigator, Texas SNAP-Ed Evaluation Photo of Steven Kelder

Steven Kelder, PhD, MPH

Photo of Shreela V. Sharma

Shreela V. Sharma, PhD, RD, LD

Photo of Andrew Springer

Andrew Springer, DrPH

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UTHealth experts provide insight on causes of child obesity, tactics to end it

HOUSTON – July 27, 2015 – Encouraging more social interaction for children rather than just limiting TV time and enforcing strong nutritional policies in schools are two of the ways to decrease child obesity rates, according to researchers. Thumbnail image for Center to

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. Thumbnail image for CATCH Summertime MVP Calendars For Kids

CATCH Summertime MVP Calendars For Kids

Do you need help thinking of ideas to keep your kids active this summer? We’ve got you covered!

Ysleta ISD moves forward with CATCH program

Since the implementation of Phase 1 last August, results show that the program is working. YISD now plans to move to Phase 2, in which the program will be extended to 37 schools, reaching 18,500 students.

CATCH Global Foundation and National Head Start Association announce partnership to improve child health

CATCH Global Foundation and National Head Start Association are collaborating to improve health in communities nationwide.
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Youth E-cigarette Prevention and the CATCH My Breath Program: Policy, Prevention and Implementation

In this month's webinar, we will discuss the importance of youth E-cigarette prevention, creation of the CATCH My Breath program, and policy and implementation efforts across the country, including pilot results from the program's launch this August.

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The MD Anderson and CATCH Partnership to Advance Youth Cancer Prevention

Learn more about MD Anderson's Cancer Prevention efforts, and how they and CATCH will collaborate to help keep children healthy.

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The CATCH Coordination Kit: Changing Cultures – Changing Lives

The CATCH Coordination Kit provides a simple yet very effective system that involves the entire faculty in the process of teaching, reinforcing and modeling healthy behaviors.

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Seguin ISD: Community-based approach to wellness

In this month's CATCH webinar we spoke with 4 people who are impacting the city of Seguin, Texas.

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Improving Children’s Health Across North Carolina: A Collaborative Approach

We are pleased to have Richard Rairigh, director of Be Active Kids, join us for this Month's CATCH webinar, "Improving Children’s Health Across North Carolina: A Collaborative Approach."

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Implementing CATCH Kids Club in Southern Nevada: CATCHified Collaboration in Action

Learn about the ongoing project of putting CATCH Kids Club in the after-school programs in Nevada.

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Health is CATCHing on in Dekalb County

Dekalb County CATCH Champions share their story of cultivating and maintaining partnerships throughout the community.

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Evaluation, Implementation and Sustainability with CATCH onto Health! Consortium

Results and progress of current utilized implementation strategies, evaluation plans, sustainability efforts, and future programmatic changes for the 80 southern Illinois schools currently implementing CATCH will be explored.

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Discover CATCH Early Childhood at JCCs Across the Country

The partnership between CATCH USA and the Jewish Community Centers of North America started 3 years ago. Since then, forty-one JCCs have been trained in the Discover CATCH program aiming to instill life long healthy habits in the youngest members of our community.

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Dependable Instructional and Management Strategies for Un-dependable Children: Teaching Children Diagnosed With Neurological Based Behavior Problems, Part 2

This webinar will focus specifically on instructional and management strategies that address problems associated with teaching children with neurological challenges.

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CSH & CATCH in Los Fresnos CISD: How do we know it's working?

Join us for the monthly CATCH webinar, with special guest Annice Garza from Los Fresnos CISD.

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Creating a Culture of Health in Your Community, featuring Dr Belinda Reininger

In this month's CATCH webinar we spoke with Dr. Belinda Reininger about the amazing work she and a team of collaborators are undertaking to transform the community of Brownsville, Texas.

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CATCHing Them Early

In this webinar we will discuss childhood obesity trends, CATCH results and strategies.

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CATCHing on to Sun Safety with MD Anderson’s Sunbeatables™ Preschool Program.

MD Anderson Cancer Center Investigators will present their evidence-based sun safety curriculum (Ray and the Sunbeatables™) for preschools.

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CATCHing Funding Dollars

Locating funding is usually the first step in any new endeavor and I am pleased to have our good friend and CATCH Team member Kathy Chichester as our special guest this month. Kathy will be providing the tips you need to include CATCH in your winning proposal.

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CATCH Physical Activity to Positively Address Neurologically Based Behavioral Problems

Find out how physical activity can positively address neurologically-based behavior problems.

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CATCH at Blank Children's Hospital

Our guest this month was Julia Richards Krapfl of the Blank Children's Hospital in Des Moines, Iowa. This webinar will review how CATCH was established in Central Iowa, expansion of the program, additional programming enhancing the CATCH curriculum, partnerships formed along the way, as well as lessons learned over the past six years.

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Brighter Bites: Helping families take CATCH home

This month's CATCH webinar will describe the Brighter Bites model and how it incorporates CATCH to promote healthier environments both at school and at home.