Document Type

DNP Project


School of Nursing

Date of Degree

Spring 2020


Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

Primary Advisor

Dr. Mercedes Echevarria, DNP, APN; Dr. Karen Whitt, PhD, AGN-BC, FNP-C


Background: Childhood obesity continues to be a problem in urban areas despite an understanding of the causes and consequences. It is essential to develop ways to reduce childhood obesity from a systems perspective, addressing the multifaceted elements that contribute to it.

Objectives: This project aimed to implement and evaluate a community-based, family-centered nutrition and exercise program to improve health outcomes and long-term complications related to childhood obesity in a New Jersey city.

Methods: A 12-week nutrition and exercise program based on materials from Let’s Go 5210 was provided for children age 8-13 enrolled in a community organization dance class. Participants completed a 10-item open-ended survey to measure knowledge of healthy food behaviors and attitudes towards a healthy lifestyle pre and post intervention. Anthropometric measurements were obtained at 0, 6, and 12 weeks to determine changes from baseline.

Results:Participants’ (N=42) pre and post intervention survey responses were evaluated using a paired t-test and indicated a significant increase in servings of fruits and vegetables (95.2%, p< 0.001), decrease in servings of fast food per week (71.4%, p=0.021) and sugary drinks per day, (71.4%, p

Conclusion: Incorporating a nutrition and exercise program into preexisting extracurricular activities was effective in improving healthy lifestyle behaviors which can lead to decreased childhood obesity.

Open Access


Included in

Nursing Commons



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.