CATCH Middle School

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THIS PROJECT IS CURRENTLY INACTIVE

The Central Texas CATCH Middle School Project (CATCH MS) was a school-based health promotion initiative aimed at promoting physical activity, healthy eating and obesity prevention among middle school students living in central Texas. CATCH MS activities were rooted in a coordinated school health framework, and harnessed the resources of multiple stakeholders in multiple settings within the school context to promote child health. The project, funded by a grant from the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation, took place between December 2008 and December 2012 in five school districts and 39 public middle schools in central Texas.

Research details and past surveys are available on the Details tab.

The Central Texas CATCH Middle School Project (CATCH MS) was a school-based health promotion initiative aimed at promoting physical activity, healthy eating and obesity prevention among middle school students living in central Texas. The project took place between December 2008 and December 2012 in five school districts and 39 public middle schools in central Texas. The CATCH Middle School model is rooted in a coordinated school health framework aimed at harnessing various stakeholders (e.g., administrators, teachers, PE specialists, cafeteria staff, parents & students) and settings (classroom, PE, food service, school events) within the school context for the promotion of child health. A paper detailing the final outcomes of the CATCH MS project is underway.

 

Who conducted it?

Funded by a generous grant from the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation, CATCH MS was led by researchers at the Michael & Susan Dell Center for Healthy Living based at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) School of Public Health in Austin. The project was conducted in collaboration with school district leaders, classroom, PE teachers and other school faculty, and parents and community leaders from central Texas. Dr. Steven Kelder and Dr. Andrew Springer from the UTHealth School of Health served as the Principal Investigators; Co-Investigators included: Dr. Nalini Ranjit and Dr. Deanna Hoelscher from UTHealth School of Public Health and Dr. Keryn Pasch from The University of Texas at Austin. Project staff included Megan Grayless, MPH, Project Director; Joanne Delk, MS, Measurement Coordinator; Peter Cribb, MEd and Kacey Hanson, MPH, Research Coordinators; and Linlin Li, PhD, Jud Janak, PhD, Tiffni Menendez, MPH, and Sherman Chow, MA/MPH, research assistants.

 

What were the program components, materials and activities?

Components: Six core components delivered CATCH program activities: CATCH PE, CATCH Classroom, CATCH Eat Smart Cafeteria, CATCH Family, CATCH Social Marketing, and the CATCH Wellness Team chaired by a local onsite CATCH Champion. At each school, CATCH Champions and CATCH Teams were established to coordinate actions across the school setting and core components with the aim of reinforcing messaging around physical activity (PA) and healthy eating as well as directly shaping the school environment to deliver healthier food options and PA to students. 

Materials: Materials provided to schools included a CATCH Coordination Kit, which specifies action items and provides guidance for CATCH Teams to coordinate activities; CATCH component-specific curricula (CATCH PE Activity Box; CATCH Eat Smart Cafeteria Guidebook; CATCH Classroom lessons; Parent & Faculty newsletters); CATCH banners/posters; and PA equipment.

Implementation Activities: In supporting CATCH implementation, we provided training and “best practice” workshops to schools throughout the grant period; provided direct support for faculty presentations; and supported CATCH Teams/Champions through monthly communications and visits from our CATCH facilitators. In addition, we pilot-tested two social marketing campaigns aimed at promoting PA (get ur 60) and water consumption (get ur H2O) in ten middle schools.

 

What kind of information was collected as part of CATCH MS?

Study Design: A group randomized serial cross-sectional design was employed to evaluate the effect of three program support conditions (n=10 schools per condition) on student energy-balance behaviors: Basic (training and curriculum only) (comparison group), Basic Plus (training and curriculum plus CATCH facilitator support), and Basic Plus Social Marketing (all inputs plus social marketing and Parents CATCH On component). The study sample consisted of serial cross-sectional samples of 8th grade students (primary outcome evaluation sample) and 6th and 7th grade students (PE evaluation sample) who were selected and measured each year.

Measures: Outcome evaluation measures included a CATCH Middle School questionnaire comprised of self-reported measures on dietary behaviors and physical activity; anthropometric measures of height and weight; and structured observations of physical activity engagement using SOFIT.

Process measures included interviews with school CATCH Champions; a School Faculty survey; an online Principal Policies and Practices survey; and training evaluations. Details and instruments are available upon inquiry.

 

Research Details

Years CATCH Middle School Questionnaire Administered:

  • 2009-2012

Population: Central Texas Middle School students

  • CATCH Middle School Questionnaire: 8th graders
  • Anthropometric Measures of Height and Weight: 8th graders
  • Structured Observations of School Fitness Instruction Time (SOFIT/PE Class): 6th & 7th graders

Sample Size:

Questionnaire and Height & Weight Measures

 

Measurement Period

Frequency

2009

2826

2010

2745

2011

2791

2012

2844

 

CATCH Middle School Questionnaire:

*Note: Some modifications were made between the 2009 questionnaire and the 2010-2012 questionnaires, with the primary modification being the reduction of “how often do you usually eat” items.

8th Grade

2009

English 

2010

English 

2011

English 

2012

English 

 

Details on the SOFIT measurement protocol used are available at http://activelivingresearch.org/sofit-system-observing-fitness-instruction-time

 

General information about use of the Central Texas CATCH Middle School Questionnaire:

  • The CATCH Middle School Questionnaire is not copyrighted and may be used without written permission from the Michael & Susan Dell Center for Healthy Living at the UTHealth School of Public Health.
  • We ask that the CATCH Middle School Project is cited when using our data or measures (see publications below for authors).
Photo of Deanna Hoelscher

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

Photo of Steven Kelder

Steven Kelder, PhD, MPH

Photo of Nalini Ranjit

Nalini Ranjit, PhD

Principal Investigator, Texas SNAP-Ed Evaluation; Co-Principal Investigator, GAVA Evaluation Study Photo of Andrew Springer

Andrew Springer, DrPH