Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH, USA.
This study describes the link between level of implementation and outcomes from an intervention to increase afterschool programs' (ASPs) achievement of healthy eating and physical activity (HE-PA) Standards. Ten intervention ASPs implemented the Strategies-To-Enhance-Practice (STEPs), a multi-component, adaptive intervention framework identifying factors essential to meeting HE-PA Standards, while 10 control ASPs continued routine practice. All programs, intervention and control, were assigned a STEPs for HE-PA index score based on implementation. Mixed-effects linear regressions showed high implementation ASPs had the greatest percentage of boys and girls achieving 30 min of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (47.3 and 29.3%), followed by low implementation ASPs (41.3 and 25.0%), and control ASPs (34.8 and 18.5%). For healthy eating, high/low implementation programs served fruits and vegetables an equivalent number of days, but more days than control programs (74.0 and 79.1% of days versus 14.2%). A similar pattern emerged for the percent of days sugar-sweetened foods and beverages were served, with high and low implementation programs serving sugar-sweetened foods (8.0 and 8.4% of days versus 52.2%), and beverages (8.7 and 2.9% of days versus 34.7%) equivalently, but less often than control programs. Differences in characteristics and implementation of STEPs for HE-PA between high/low implementers were also identified.
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