Science

AOM Research

Abstracts
Journal articles
Monographs
Surveys

Abstracts

America On the Move for Middle School
Presented to the American Public Health Association, 2004
"Promoting Physical Activity in Middle School Students Using Step Counters" Mary J. Barry, PhD, Cecilia Mosca, PhD, James O. Hill, PhD. University of Colorado Denver, Health Sciences Center, Center for Human Nutrition, 4200 East Ninth Ave. C-225, Denver, CO 80262.

This study examined the impact of using step counters (pedometers) in conjunction with teacher materials on physical activity in over 450 middle school students. The program was based on America On the Move's physical activity message, using such key elements as tracking and trails.

CONCLUSION: The AOM program was found to have a positive impact on participation in physical activity levels in students.

America On the Move for Families
Presented at the Pediatric Academic Societies Meeting, 2006
"Effectiveness of America On the Move for Families: A Family-Based Approach for Preventing Excessive Weight Gain in Children" SJ Rodearmel, VL Grotz, PhD, LA Goldsmith, MD, PhD, SM Smith, BS, LG Ogden, PhD, HR Wyatt, MD, JR Moran, MD and JO Hill, PhD. Center for Human Nutrition, University of Colorado Denver, Health Sciences Center, Denver, CO and Medical & Nutritional Affairs, McNeil Nutritionals LLC, Fort Washington, PA.

This one-year study followed over 200 families with at least one overweight child. Study families were taught about the America On the Move small changes philosophy and were provided with step counters (pedometers), tracking forms, nutritional tips for cutting calories and simple incentives.

CONCLUSION: This study, based on the AOM program, provided the first evidence to support the positive impact of simple dietary changes and small increases in physical activity on overweight children.

Journal Articles

"Obesity and the Environment: Where Do We Go from Here?"
JO Hill, PhD, HR Wyatt, MD, GW Reed, PhD, and JC Peters, PhD
Science, vol 299, February 2003

Using data from national surveys, AOM's co-founders estimate that affecting energy balance by 100 calories per day could prevent weight gain in most of the population. This modest goal, which is the basis for AOM can be achieved by small changes in behavior, such as walking 2000 extra steps per day and leaving a few bites behind at each meal.

CONCLUSION: The authors conclude that small, specific behavioral targets may be key to stopping the obesity epidemic.

"Using Electronic Step Counters to Increase Lifestyle Physical Activity: Colorado On the Move™"
HR Wyatt, MD, JC Peters, PhD, GW Reed, PhD, GK Grunwald, PhD, M Barry, PhD, H Thompson, RD, J Jones, MPH and JO Hill, PhD
Journal of Physical Activity and Health, vol 1, 2004

The researchers at Colorado On the Move (which is the predecessor to America On the Move) sought to show that a program with a specific quantifiable behavioral goal (like adding 2000 steps to your day) using a step counter for increasing lifestyle physical activity and decreasing energy intake can work to prevent weight gain. This study did find that increasing a person's average steps per day with an achievable goal of steps per day (like adding 2000 steps) combined with a way to measure this increase, like using step counters (also called pedometers), does have a positive impact on physical activity levels.

CONCLUSION: Increasing physical activity by 2000 steps per day could help prevent the average yearly weight gain increase of 1-2 pounds seen in the US population.

"A Family-Based Approach to Preventing Excessive Weight Gain"
SJ Rodearmel, EdD, HR Wyatt, MD, MJ Barry, PhD, F Dong, D Pan, RG Israel, PhD, SS Cho, PhD, MI McBurney, PhD, JO Hill, PhD
Obesity, vol. 14, 2006.

This 3-month study followed over 60 families with at least one overweight child. Study families were taught about the America On the Move small changes philosophy, were provided with step counters and tracking forms and were asked to eat two servings of cereal each day.

CONCLUSION: Results showed that families were able to significantly increase physical activity levels and adjust food intake. Compared to control families, both overweight children and parents in the study families successfully prevented weight gain.

"Small Changes in Dietary Sugar and Physical Activity as an Approach to Preventing Excessive Weight Gain: the America On the Move Family Study"
SJ Rodearmel, EdD, HR Wyatt, MD, N Stroebele, PhD, SM Smith, LG Ogden, PhD, and JO Hill, PhD
Pediatrics, vol 120, October 2007

Investigation was conducted on families to determine if excessive weight gain could be prevented by using the small change message promoted by America On the Move. The small change message tested in families was to reduce 100 calories per day from what is normally consumed and to walk 2000 extra steps over the individual’s established baseline each day.

CONCLUSION: The small-changes approach advocated by America On the Move could be useful for addressing childhood obesity by preventing excess weight gain in families.

Monographs

Summit on Promoting Health Eating and Active Living: Developing a Framework for Progress
Nutrition Reviews, vol 59, no 3 part II, March 2001

This publication represents a 2-Day Summit hosted by the America On the Move Foundation, which included expert analysis by 40 key figures organized into groups representing multiple disciplines. In preparation for the Summit, the groups wrote papers addressing 3 important questions:

  1. How and why do individuals make food and physical activity choices and what are the underlying factors that affect these choices?
  2. How and why do environmental and societal factors affect food and physical activity choices?
  3. What lessons have been learned from other attempts to guide social change?

Their findings and a new framework are presented in this monograph.

An Economic Analysis of Eating and Physical Activity Behaviors: Exploring Effective Strategies to Combat Obesity
American Journal of Preventive Medicine, Supplement, October 2004

To review the effect of economics on eating and physical activity, the America On the Move Foundation convened the Economic Analysis Forum in April 2003. Two groups were formed—one focused on eating behaviors and one focused on physical activity, both with equal representation from health-related and economic disciplines. The groups examined how economics contribute to and can improve eating and physical activity patterns. The resulting six papers address the following topics:

The economic framework that affects nutrition and physical activity choices

  1. The impact economic forces have on leisure time choices
  2. The effectiveness of interventions in increasing physical activity
  3. How the built environment influences physical activity
  4. How food costs influence food consumption
  5. Interventions to promote healthy eating using economic analysis

The Forum and subsequent publication clearly demonstrated that economic considerations are essential to devising strategies to improve nutrition, physical activity and obesity.

For more information on how to obtain a copy of the above monographs, contact us.

AOM Surveys

AOM Colorado State Survey, conducted by Harris Interactive Inc. for AOMF, 2002
(published as "A Colorado Statewide Survey of Walking and Its Relation to Excessive Weight" in Medicine and Science in Sports & Exercise, Vol. 37, No. 5, pp. 724-730, 2005.)
This 2002 survey, conducted in Colorado examined the views and experiences of over 1,000 residents.

Findings of interest include:

  • The average adult in Colorado reported taking 6,804 steps per day.
  • About 33% reported taking fewer than 5,000 steps per day and only 16% reported taking 10,000 or more steps per day.
  • Determinants of steps per day included age (older residents reported fewer steps), marital status (singles are more active) and income (higher income associated with higher activity).
  • Obese individuals walked about 2,000 fewer steps per day than normal-weight individuals.

These results provide the first population data on current walking levels and provide a baseline for future evaluation of AOM in Colorado. Increasing steps per day appears to be a good target to use in interventions to increase physical activity.

AOM National Step Survey, conducted by Harris Interactive Inc. for AOMF, 2003 (unpublished)
This survey examined the views and experiences of over 2000 US residents ages 13 and older, concerning their physical activity, health and nutrition.

Findings of interest include:

  • 7 in 10 surveyed report currently trying to lose weight
  • Average time spent sitting per day is 7.7 hours, 4 hours watching TV
  • 8 in 10 wish to become more active (time and motivation cited as major barriers)
  • 9 in 10 believe walking is a good or excellent way to increase physical activity

In addition, over 1,700 participants agreed to wear a step counter and monitor their physical activity for two consecutive days and report the total number of steps taken during that period.

  • The average steps per day reported was 5,310

AOM Tennessee State Survey, 2005 (unpublished)
This survey examined the experiences of Tennessee residents ages 18 and older concerning physical activity, health, and nutrition. Parents of 10-17 year olds participating in the study were asked questions concerning their child's experience with these issues. Participants agreed to wear a step counter (pedometer) for four consecutive days and report the total number of steps taken during that period.

Findings of interest include:

  • The average adult Tennessean is nearly obese, with an average BMI of 29.2. (A BMI of 25 is considered overweight and a BMI of 30 is considered obese.)
  • Tennesseans are inactive, with the average steps per day reported at 4,641 steps per day, about 1,000 fewer than the average American.
  • 84% would like to become more active, and 94% believe that walking is a good to excellent method of doing so.
  • Normal weight males in Tennessee are more likely to maintain their weight through physical activity, while normal weight females are more likely to do so through dieting.

The bad news: Tennesseans are less active, less likely to control calorie intake and are heavier than the national average.

The good news: Tennesseans appear to be ready to change, given the right guidance and support.

AOM Arkansas State Survey, 2006 (unpublished)
This survey examined the views and experiences of over 700 Arkansas residents ages 18 and older, concerning their physical activity, health, and nutrition. Participants agreed to wear a step counter (pedometer) to monitor activity for three consecutive days and report the total number of steps taken during that period.

Findings of interest include:

  • Over half of Arkansans report the desire to become more physically active. While 24% reported walking during the day, 60% reported sitting or standing.
  • 65% of Arkansans prefer to increase activity levels on their own, as compared to turning to health clubs or community-based organizations for support.
  • The majority (65%) is overweight or obese, yet, of those who visited a healthcare provider in the last year, only 20% were instructed to lose weight.
  • Arkansans reported common barriers to adopting and maintaining lifestyle changes, including lack of time (32%); poor health (27%); and lacking motivation to start (15%).
  • The average daily steps reported by Arkansans was 5,248.