History and Overview of SWITCH
Original Research on SWITCH
The Switch program was based on research led by investigators working with a non - profit group called the National Institute of Media and the Family. The efficacy study was conducted during the 2005-2006 school year with over 1,300 families in Lakeville, MN and Cedar Rapids, IA. Key findings from this study (published in BMC Medicine) are summarized below:
- Children who were more obese consumed the highest amount of screen time at the beginning of the program
- Children who were actively engaged in the program and who were at the highest risk reduced their screen time, increased their fruit and vegetable consumption, and increased their activity level.
- At the 6-month follow-up, parents reported significantly lower screen time, and parents and children both reported significant increases in fruit and vegetable consumption.
Collaborative Work with Cedar Rapids Metro YMCA Network
The original SWITCH program utilized print media but the program has been re-developed as an online platform to improve efficiency and facilitate broader dissemination. Working in collaboration with the Cedar Rapids Metro YMCA we conducted a formative evaluation to directly compare the print and online versions. Results from this 2013 pilot revealed similar ratings of parent / child interactions for the different versions. With recent funding from the Wellmark Grant program we are working to evaluate training models that will enable us to disseminate the SWITCH program more broadly across the state. Click here to see press release about the SWITCH collaboration.
Research on New School Modules for SWITCH
The SWITCH team has continued innovating and has built an enhanced set of school based modules designed to enhance the effectiveness of SWITCH. The package includes an integrated set of resources (branded as SWITCH +) that provide complementary resources for Physical Education (SWITCH PE), Classroom (SWITCH Classroom) and Lunchroom (SWITCH Nutrition). These supplements are currently being piloted for integration into the overall SWITCH program.