Sport Waikato

Hamilton, New Zealand

Sport Waikato

Hamilton, New Zealand
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Rush E.,Auckland University of Technology | Obolonkin V.,Auckland University of Technology | Young L.,Auckland University of Technology | Kirk M.,Sport Waikato | Tseng M.,California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo
Nutrients | Year: 2017

To reduce weight gain and encourage healthy eating including reduced sugar intake, Under 5 Energize (U5E) was introduced to 121 early-childhood-centres in the Waikato region of New Zealand in July 2013. Using anonymized data collected from January 2013 to September 2016 through free physical assessments of all 4-year-olds provided by the NZ Ministry of Health, the prevalence of obesity and dental decay children measured in the Waikato region was examined. Data were divided into four periods representing pre-implementation and 3 years of gradual implementation. Obesity was defined according to International Obesity Task Force criteria. Of 18,774 Waikato children included in the analysis, 32% were indigenous Māori, and 32% attended an U5E centre. Pre-implementation prevalences of obesity (4%) and visible dental decay (11%) of children attending and not-attending U5E centres were not different. While obesity prevalence did not change significantly over time, prevalence of dental decay decreased among children at U5E (trend p = 0.003) but not non-U5E (trend p = 0.14) centres, such that prevalences were significantly different between children at U5E vs. non-U5E centres at Year 3 (p = 0.02). The U5E intervention is a small but arguably effective part of the wider system approach that is required to improve children’s future health. © 2017 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


Rush E.,University of Auckland | Coppinger T.,University of Auckland | Obolonkin V.,University of Auckland | Hinckson E.,University of Auckland | And 3 more authors.
Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport | Year: 2012

Objectives: To examine in the context of a school day whether a pedometer, compared to an accelerometer, was an effective tool to identify children with low physical activity levels. Additionally, to characterise within the school day, patterns of variation in level and timing of activity of the most active and least active children. Design: Observational study to compare two methods (accelerometer and pedometer) of identifying less active children and intensity of activity. Method: During school hours, for three consecutive days, children (n= 47, aged 8-11 years) in two classes wore an accelerometer and sealed pedometer. Accelerometers were programmed to record at 15s epochs and the number of pedometer steps taken were recorded at the end of each school day. Patterns of activity by total accelerometer counts, and with cutoffs applied, were examined against time and the number of steps taken. Results: Based on the accelerometer (>1500. counts/min), the majority (68%) of children spent more than 60. min in moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA) during the school day. Overall, time spent in MVPA was three times greater during break times compared to classroom time, with no apparent differences by class/age or gender. Total accelerometer counts and pedometer steps were correlated (r= 0.60). One minute of MVPA was equivalent to 45 (95% CI 20 to 70) pedometer steps. Conclusion: The pedometer, a practical, relatively inexpensive tool, is suitable for the identification of less active children and has some utility to assess the relative intensity of activities in the context of a school day. © 2011 Sports Medicine Australia.


Rush E.,Auckland University of Technology | Cairncross C.,Auckland University of Technology | Williams M.H.,Auckland University of Technology | Tseng M.,California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo | And 3 more authors.
BMC Research Notes | Year: 2016

Prevention of childhood obesity is a global priority. The school setting offers access to large numbers of children and the ability to provide supportive environments for quality physical activity and nutrition. This article describes Project Energize, a through-school physical activity and nutrition programme that celebrated its 10-year anniversary in 2015 so that it might serve as a model for similar practices, initiatives and policies elsewhere. The programme was envisaged and financed by the Waikato District Health Board of New Zealand in 2004 and delivered by Sport Waikato to 124 primary schools as a randomised controlled trial from 2005 to 2006. The programme has since expanded to include all 242 primary schools in the Waikato region and 70 schools in other regions, including 53,000 children. Ongoing evaluation and development of Project Energize has shown it to be sustainable (ongoing for >10 years), both effective (lower obesity, higher physical fitness) and cost effective (one health related cost quality adjusted life year between $18,000 and $30,000) and efficient ($45/child/year) as a childhood 'health' programme. The programme's unique community-based approach is inclusive of all children, serving a population that is 42 % Ma¯ori, the indigenous people of New Zealand. While the original nine healthy eating and seven quality physical activity goals have not changed, the delivery and assessment processes has been refined and the health service adapted over the 10 years of the programme existence, as well as adapted over time to other settings including early childhood education and schools in Cork in Ireland. Evaluation and research associated with the programme delivery and outcomes are ongoing. The dissemination of findings to politicians and collaboration with other service providers are both regarded as priorities. © 2016 Rush et al.


PubMed | Cork Institute of Technology, Auckland University of Technology, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo and Sport Waikato
Type: | Journal: BMC research notes | Year: 2016

Prevention of childhood obesity is a global priority. The school setting offers access to large numbers of children and the ability to provide supportive environments for quality physical activity and nutrition. This article describes Project Energize, a through-school physical activity and nutrition programme that celebrated its 10-year anniversary in 2015 so that it might serve as a model for similar practices, initiatives and policies elsewhere. The programme was envisaged and financed by the Waikato District Health Board of New Zealand in 2004 and delivered by Sport Waikato to 124 primary schools as a randomised controlled trial from 2005 to 2006. The programme has since expanded to include all 242 primary schools in the Waikato region and 70 schools in other regions, including 53,000 children. Ongoing evaluation and development of Project Energize has shown it to be sustainable (ongoing for >10 years), both effective (lower obesity, higher physical fitness) and cost effective (one health related cost quality adjusted life year between $18,000 and $30,000) and efficient ($45/child/year) as a childhood health programme. The programmes unique community-based approach is inclusive of all children, serving a population that is 42% Mori, the indigenous people of New Zealand. While the original nine healthy eating and seven quality physical activity goals have not changed, the delivery and assessment processes has been refined and the health service adapted over the 10 years of the programme existence, as well as adapted over time to other settings including early childhood education and schools in Cork in Ireland. Evaluation and research associated with the programme delivery and outcomes are ongoing. The dissemination of findings to politicians and collaboration with other service providers are both regarded as priorities.


Rush E.,Auckland University of Technology | McLennan S.,Sport Waikato | Obolonkin V.,Auckland University of Technology | Vandal A.C.,Auckland University of Technology | And 4 more authors.
British Journal of Nutrition | Year: 2014

Project Energize, a region-wide whole-school nutrition and physical activity programme, commenced as a randomised controlled trial (RCT) in the period 2004-6 in 124 schools in Waikato, New Zealand. In 2007, sixty-two control schools were engaged in the programme, and by 2011, all but two of the 235 schools in the region were engaged. Energizers (trained nutrition and physical activity specialists) work with eight to twelve schools each to achieve the goals of the programme, which are based on healthier eating and enhanced physical activity. In 2011, indices of obesity and physical fitness of 2474 younger (7·58 (sd 0·57) years) and 2330 older (10·30 (sd 0·51) years) children attending 193 of the 235 primary schools were compared with historical measurements. After adjusting for age, sex, ethnicity, socio-economic status (SES) and school cluster effects, the combined prevalence of obesity and overweight among younger and older children in 2011 was lower by 31 and 15%, respectively, than that among 'unEnergized' children in the 2004 to 2006 RCT. Similarly, BMI was lower by 3·0% (95% CI-5·8,- 1·3) and 2·4% (95% CI-4·3,-0·5). Physical fitness (time taken to complete a 550m run) was significantly higher in the Energized children (13·7 and 11·3%, respectively) than in a group of similarly aged children from another region. These effects were observed for boys and girls, both indigenous Māori and non-Māori children, and across SES. The long-term regional commitment to the Energize programme in schools may potentially lead to a secular reduction in the prevalence of overweight and obesity and gains in physical fitness, which may reduce the risk of developing obesity and type 2 diabetes. Copyright © The Authors 2013.


Rush E.,Auckland University of Technology | Reed P.,University of Auckland | McLennan S.,Sport Waikato | Coppinger T.,Auckland University of Technology | And 3 more authors.
British Journal of Nutrition | Year: 2012

Through-school nutrition and physical activity interventions are designed to help reduce excess weight gain and risk of chronic disease. From 2004 to 2006, Project Energize was delivered in the Waikato Region of New Zealand as a longitudinal randomised controlled study of 124 schools (year 1-6), stratified by rurality and social deprivation, and randomly assigned to intervention or control. Children (686 boys and 662 girls) aged 5 (1926) and 10 (1426) years (692 interventions and 660 controls) had height, weight, body fat (by bioimpedance) and resting blood pressure (BP) measured at baseline and 2 years later. Each intervention school was assigned an "Energizer" a trained physical activity and nutrition change agent, who worked with the school to achieve goals based on healthier eating and quality physical activity. After adjustment for baseline measures, rurality and social deprivation, the intervention was associated with a reduced accumulation of body fat in younger children and a reduced rate of rise in systolic BP in older children. There was some evidence that the pattern of change within an age group varied with rurality, ethnicity and sex. We conclude that the introduction of an "Energizer led" through-school programme may be associated with health benefits over 2 years, but the trajectory of this change needs to be measured over a longer period. Attention should also be paid to the differing response by ethnicity, sex, age group and the effect of rurality and social deprivation. © The Authors 2011.


Rush E.,Auckland University of Technology | Reed P.W.,University of Auckland | McLennan S.,Sport Waikato | Coppinger T.,Auckland University of Technology | And 3 more authors.
European Journal of Clinical Nutrition | Year: 2012

Background/Objectives:In 2002, the prevalence of overweight and obesity, defined by body mass index (BMI), was higher in New Zealand Mori (40%) and Pacific (60%) than in European (24%) children; however, this does not take into account interethnic differences in body composition. This study compared trajectories of anthropometric indices from 2004 to 2006 among 5-and 10-year-old Mori and European children.Subjects/Methods:In 2004 and then in 2006, 1244 children (639 boys and 605 girls) aged 5 and 10 years had height, weight and fat-free mass (FFM) by bioimpedance measured to derive measures of fat mass (FM), percentage body fat (%BF), FM index (FMI, FM/height 2), FFM index (FFMI, FFM/height 2), and s.d. scores for BMI and %BF and BMI categories by International Obesity Task Force criteria.Results:Body composition and growth in Mori children is different from European children. Over 2 years, the BMI and %BF s.d. scores in both 5-and 10-year-old cohorts increased more in Mori children than in European children. The prevalence of overweight and obesity also increased within ethnicity and age group. The relative change of FMI and FFMI differed by age group, gender and ethnicity. In Mori girls, the magnitude of the changes between 10 and 12 years of age was most markedthe major contribution was from an increase in FMI. At 12 years, the mean %BF of Mori girls was 31.7% (95% confidence interval (CI): 30.1 and 33.3) compared with that of European girls (28.0%; 95% CI: 27.0 and 29.0).Conclusions:FM and FFM measures provide a more appropriate understanding of growth and body composition change in children than BMI, and vary with gender and ethnicity. Thus, FMI and FFMI should be tracked and compared among populations. © 2012 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved.


Mitchell B.,Sport Waikato | McLennan S.,Sport Waikato | Latimer K.,Sport Waikato | Graham D.,Waikato Hospital | And 2 more authors.
Obesity Research and Clinical Practice | Year: 2013

Project Energize, a multicomponent through-school programme aims to improve the overall health and reducing weight gain of Waikato primary school children by increasing their physical activity and encouraging healthy eating. The aim of this report is to describe the efficacy of one intervention that provided classroom teachers with tools for improving fundamental movement skill (FMS) proficiency in years 0-8 school children. In 2008 the Test of Gross Motor Development (TGMD) was used to measure the FMS proficiency of children from 11 schools and 41 classes; before (n = 701) and after (n = 598) the teacher support was provided. Children were identified only by class years. At baseline less than half of the children exhibited proficiency in kicking (21%), throwing (31%) and striking (40%) while most children were able to run (84.6%) and slide (78.0%). All skills were substantially improved (P < 0.001) after the intervention with the biggest changes in kicking, throwing and striking; 49.8%, 63.5% and 76.3% proficient. At baseline children in years 0-3 from higher decile schools performed better than lower decile schools and after intervention this gap was reduced or removed. After receiving tailored FMS physical education classes led by the teacher, younger children were more competent than the older children were at baseline. The large, positive effects of the intervention have implications for long term physical activity participation and fitness with subsequent health benefits. The school-based FMS teacher support intervention by Team Energize is an effective way to improve outcomes for children. © 2011 Asian Oceanian Association for the Study of Obesity. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Rush E.,Auckland University of Technology | Obolonkin V.,Auckland University of Technology | McLennan S.,Sport Waikato | Graham D.,Waikato Hospital | And 4 more authors.
Obesity Research and Clinical Practice | Year: 2014

Project Energize, a multicomponent through-school physical activity and nutrition programme, is delivered to all primary school children in the Waikato region the programme aim is to improve the overall health and reduce the rate of weight gain of all Waikato primary school children. An existing economic model was used to extrapolate the programme effects, initial costs, lifetime health treatment cost structures, quality-adjusted-life-years gained and increased life expectancy to the general and Māori child population of New Zealand. In March 2011, a sample of 2474 younger (7.58 ± 0.57 years, mean ± SD) and 2330 older (10.30 ± 0.51 years) children (36% Māori) attending Energize schools had body mass index measured and compared using mixed effect modelling with unEnergized comparison children from 2004 and 2006 from the same region. In 2011 the median body mass index reduction compared with the comparison younger children was -0.504 (90% CI -0.435 to -0.663) kg/m 2 and in the older children -0.551 (-0.456 to -0.789) kg/m 2. In 2010 there were 42,067 children attending Energize schools and in the same year NZ$1,891,175 was spent to deliver the programme; a cost of $44.96/child/year. Compared to the comparison children the increment in cost/quality-adjusted-life-year gained was $30,438 for the younger and $24,690 for the older children, and lower for Māori (younger $28,241, older $22,151) and for the middle socioeconomic status schools ($23,211, $17,891). Project Energize would improve quality and length of life and when compared with other obesity prevention programmes previously assessed with this model, it would be relatively cost-effective from the health treatment payer's perspective. © 2013 Asian Oceanian Association for the Study of Obesity.


Rush E.,Auckland University of Technology | Reed P.W.,University of Auckland | Simmons D.,University of Cambridge | Coppinger T.,Auckland University of Technology | And 3 more authors.
Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health | Year: 2013

Aim School-based interventions to tackle the rise in childhood overweight and obesity remain inconclusive and are often limited in their application to diverse populations. To inform and measure the effect of the implementation of a primary school-based longitudinal randomised controlled nutrition and activity intervention, Project Energize, baseline measures of body size and blood pressure were required. Methods This cross-sectional study stratified by age, sex, ethnicity, rurality and school socio-economic-status (school-SES) measured body mass index (BMI), percentage body fat (%BF), waist and resting blood pressure from 2752 5- and 10-year-old children (62% European, 31% Māori) representative of the Waikato region of New Zealand. Result Waikato children have a high prevalence of overweight and obesity that is linked with hypertension. Cardiovascular risk factors including raised blood pressure and hypertension, waist and arm circumference and percentage body fat (%BF) were more prevalent in 10-year-olds, lower school-SES and to some extent, urban living. In European children, BMI and waist circumference were similarly predictive of %BF, but for Māori children, waist circumference predicted %BF better than BMI. Conclusions A variety of stratified, baseline measurements is important when designing school-based interventions. In particular, waist circumference measures may be a more accurate predictor of %BF than BMI when determining measurement protocols that consider different ethnic groups and environments among children. The effect of targeted improvements of the school physical activity and nutrition environment on the rate of increase of weight, fatness and blood pressure in children should be examined. © 2012 The Authors. Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health © 2012 Paediatrics and Child Health Division (Royal Australasian College of Physicians).

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