Finally... A school-based wellness program that WORKS!

How MATCH Works

Motivating Adolescents with Technology to CHOOSE Health (MATCH) is a teacher-developed interdisciplinary approach to student wellness that integrates physical activity, nutrition, and technology education. The MATCH Wellness intervention is embedded within national curriculum standards and delivered to 7th grade students using a combined educational-behavioral approach.

MATCH Computer Class
Students observe fiber characteristics in whole grain
breads compared to refined flour in white bread
(Speaking of how foundations, non-profits, and governments should replicate implementation of MATCH’s evidence-based approach) "…it is very important when we find programs that work, that we figure out how we can replicate it…down the street, in the next county, in the next state, or across the country“.

- Shellie Y. Pfohl, MS - Executive Director of the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports, & Nutrition


MATCH Wellness results from 2008-2017

  2008-09 2009-10 2010-11 2011-12 2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17
# Schools 4 5 5 6 12 17 15 35 46
# Reached 274 634 660 789 1065 1308 1386 3116 3852
% Overweight/Obese Success* 60 56 58 69 68 66 64 62 64
% Improving from obese to overweight 10%
(8/82)
9%
(14/159)
10%
(20/208)
7%
(12/168)
10%
(31/314)
13%
(51/400)
12%
(45/435)
14%
(118/857)
13%
(135/1072)
% Improving to healthy weight 14%
(7/51)
17%
(18/105)
10%
(15/155)
24%
(23/95)
20%
(38/192)
24%
(61/253)
22%
(58/290)
22%
(137/613)
27%
(192/710)
% Converting: Healthy Weight to overweight(undesirable change) 5%
(5/103)
5%
(16/292)
3%
(10/337)
4%
(11/269)
3%
(15/500)
5%
(29/629)
7%
(40/580)
6%
(88/1574)
7%
(130/1971)

Success defined as student reducing BMI z-score after completion of MATCH program.

Lessons:


  • Taught by subject-level teachers (e.g., Nutrients: The Good Stuff in Food, Exercise Prescription, and Diabetes)
  • Provide a conceptual understanding of positive dietary and physical activity habits
  • Reinforce the potential effects on health status across multiple academic disciplines.
  • Foster skill building to begin internalizing positive health behaviors

MATCH Wellness:


  • Follows an intentional progression of goals, lessons, and activities.
  • Influenced by Social Cognitive Theory, Self Determination Theory, and the Socio-Ecologic Model.
  • Uses web-based, secure resource systems to provide resources, training, tracking and measurable outcomes
  • Maximizes acceptance and feasibility in schools

Health Equity

MATCH was developed specifically to reach under-resourced children. Its initial implementation was in a school located in a rural North Carolina county with high rates of diabetes, obesity, and cardiovascular disease; the school population had over 60% participation in the federally subsidized school lunch program and over two-thirds were African American.

MATCH was expanded into other schools in North and South Carolina, many of which have similarly high proportions of students who are overweight or obese, have low socioeconomic status, and are African American.

Strategies and Theoretical Model

MATCH uses scientifically based models backed by evidence to elicit awareness, encourage self-assessment and develop self-directed healthy behaviors. Students become the "agent of change" at home, influencing positive family member behavior.

Theories


  • Social Cognitive Theory: self-efficacy, self-regulation, goal-setting, observational learning (modeling), and outcome expectations
  • Self-Determination Theory: for health behavior change: basic psychological needs of autonomy, competence, and relatedness. (Gamification)
  • Socio-Ecologic Model: individual, interpersonal, organizational (school), family and community influences
  • Trans-theoretical Model: evaluates individuals "readiness to change" health behaviors

Strategies:


  • Promote healthy eating through the multi-disciplinary curriculum
  • Social Support for healthy eating through classroom nutrition lessons, discussions, and activities
  • Physical activity education, pre/post-fitness tests, action plans, goal-setting, and recognition
  • Recognition for personal, classroom and school-wide goal achievement