The Middle School Physical Activity and Nutrition (MSPAN) peer leader project aims to improve student health behavior by increasing consumption of healthy food options at school and increasing physical activity during and after school.
The Georgia Health Policy Center (GHPC) has been working in childhood obesity, physical activity, and nutrition projects with federal grantees, state agencies, county governments, communities, and systems (schools, health care facilities, and work sites) throughout the country since 2005. Projects have included policy, systems, and environment change, as well as data analysis, technical assistance, and program evaluation.
GHPC is providing evaluation services to HealthMPowers (HMP) on the MSPAN project. Supported by the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program via the Georgia Division of Family and Children Services, Food and Nutrition Unit, MSPAN includes education, training, and evaluation support to 40 middle schools in Georgia. This project uses:
- Evidence-based peer leadership and peer education strategies to impact physical activity and nutrition behaviors in the middle school setting, including focus groups, training events, MSPAN summits, and HMP technical assistance consultant training to build MSPAN knowledge, facilitation skills, and evaluation abilities for peer-to-peer interventions.
- School health environment changes based upon needs assessments that will inform selection of evidence-based strategies to improve the school food and nutrition environment. Additionally, GHPC will provide resources and tools, partnerships, and monitoring of implementation and outcomes to ensure sustainability of efforts.
- Strategic communication plans to disseminate select messages and reinforce specific behaviors both during the school day and for students’ families at home.