A new University of Minnesota School of Nursing partnership with the Burnsville-Eagan-Savage school district is looking into what school nurses can do to help curb obesity in schoolchildren.
Slated to begin in fall 2014, research led by School of Nursing associate professor Martha Kubik, Ph.D., R.N., received a $3 million National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant to investigate how school nurses and other community health advocates can help address the childhood obesity epidemic.
The research “has the potential to inform public policy,” said Kubik in a Pioneer Press article on the announcement made at an early-May school board meeting. “If all goes as we hope it goes, it will expand access to obesity prevention programs for children and families.”
Second and fourth-grade students who are currently overweight and who volunteer alongside their families for the research will participate in a nine-month-long program. School nurses will lead the program charge by encouraging healthy food and activity habits through small group work with children and parents, one-on-one coaching sessions and collaboration with other groups that offer active play and healthy eating opportunities.
To read the full Pioneer Press article on the NIH grant award and its potential effects, click here. You can also check out the Burnsville-Eagan Sun Thisweek story here.