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Promoting health and activity in the summer trial (PHAST)


Background: Evidence supports that children from low-resource communities gain weight at an accelerated rate throughout the summer months. Whereas school-based interventions have become more prevalent, there is a need to address summertime factors that contribute to excess weight gain outside of the school months. Purpose: Through daily programming, the PHAST study combines organized physical activity with the Summer Food Service Program distribution of USDA-approved lunches to prevent excess weight gain in participants throughout the 8-week summer period. This UTRA project was designed to measure the amount of physical activity participants achieved through the three-hours of daily programming. Participants/Methods: Fifty-six participants, ages 6-12, were recruited from several low-resource housing authority communities in Newport, RI. 100% of participants qualified for free or reduced-price lunches. Forty-five participants were given a Fitbit monitor to wear for a three-hour period within the same week of data collection. Individual steps were recorded and analyzed for differences by age, gender, and weight class. Results/Conclusion: On average, participants took at least 6,000 steps within the three hours of daily programming. The current federal daily recommendation for children ages 6-17 years is 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA). Research supports that 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA) produces 6,600-7,000 steps. Therefore, these results suggest that participants likely meet daily physical activity recommendations during one session of the program.


Pan, Katelynn, "Promoting health and activity in the summer trial (PHAST)" (2016). Summer Research Symposium. Brown Digital Repository. Brown University Library.



  • Summer Research Symposium

    Each year, Brown University showcases the research of its undergraduates at the Summer Research Symposium. More than half of the student-researchers are UTRA recipients, while others receive funding from a variety of Brown-administered and national programs and fellowships and go …