A Gardening Program to Assess Unhealthy Lifestyle Contributions to Summer Weight Gain in Children

2014-08-27 03:19:25 | BioPortfolio


The purpose of this study is to examine the impact of a summer gardening program on summer weight gain in overweight middle school children.


In the past two decades, the combination of unhealthy eating and physical inactivity has contributed to doubling the percentage of children and adolescents who are overweight. Childhood overweight is known to lead to increased risk for several morbidities in childhood and into adulthood including type 2 diabetes mellitus, hypertension, and cardiovascular disease. Recent data shows that children experience greater and more variable increases in BMI during summer vacation than during the school year. Our project aims to determine whether summer weight gain is due to a decrease in physical activity or an increase in daily calories as well as to assess the effectiveness of a summer gardening program on preventing summer body fat gain. We will randomize 40 middle-school children who are above the 95th percentile for BMI into either a control or intervention group. The control group will receive the standard of care and the intervention group will participate in Garden Fit, a summer gardening project at Troy Gardens in Madison, WI. As part of Garden Fit, subjects will participate in weeding, landscaping and trail maintenance activities as well as preparing meals twice a week with fresh foods from the gardens. We hypothesize that summer weight gain is due to a worsening of healthy lifestyle (decreased physical activity from school to summer and increased eating of high calorie snacks). Additionally, we hypothesize that an intervention that increases physical activity and provides increased access to healthy foods will reduce the trend of summer BMI increase.

Study Design

Allocation: Non-Randomized, Endpoint Classification: Efficacy Study, Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment, Masking: Open Label, Primary Purpose: Prevention




Garden Fit


University of Wisconsin
United States




University of Wisconsin, Madison

Results (where available)

View Results


Published on BioPortfolio: 2014-08-27T03:19:25-0400

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