TitlePreventing risk for obesity by promoting self-regulation and decision-making skills: pilot results from the PATHWAYS to health program (PATHWAYS).
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2007
AuthorsRiggs, NR, Sakuma, K-L, Pentz, MAnn
JournalEvaluation review
Date Published2007 Jun
KeywordsInformal, Social Control

The overall aim of the two school-based pilot studies was to evaluate whether an approach to prevention that focused on changing child impulse control, decision making, and social competence can be effective in changing attitudes toward food intake and physical activity as risk factors for obesity. The strategy used was to translate specific components of one evidence-based program for violence prevention (Promoting Alternative Thinking Strategies: PATHS) into an elementary school curriculum program for obesity prevention. Both studies demonstrated significant changes in positive attitudes toward self-regulation of appetitive behavior. In addition, Study 2 demonstrated positive changes in actual food choices and television viewing patterns. Implications are that comprehensive efforts to prevent youth risk for obesity should include as one component school-based curricula that target self-regulation and decision-making skills.