Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



School of Nursing


Not Listed

Committee Chair

Susan McCrone.


Background.;Obesity, a preventable and reversible condition, increases the risk of type 2 diabetes, hypertension, and hyperlipidemia, while decreasing both life expectancy and quality of life (U.S. Department of Health And Human Services, 2001). The national obesity rate for adolescents ages 12-19 years was 18.1% in the 2007-2008 period, a significant change from 6.1% in the early 70's (CDC, 2009). According to Barlow (2007) these figures have sounded alarms for all involved in the health care of children and adolescents.;Objectives.;The purpose of this pilot program was to assess the effectiveness of providing nutritional education and exercise opportunities for African American adolescents in an urban school utilizing the COPE/TEEN program. The primary goals of the Healthy Me project were threefold. The first was to address the presumed deficit in knowledge of what constitute a healthy lifestyle including knowledge of good nutrition and the importance of regular physical exercise and to fill in the gaps that exist in that knowledge. The second goal was to assist overweight and obese adolescents to decrease their weight and BMI through health education and physical exercise. The third goal was the continuation of the emphasis within the school on healthy living for the students. To facilitate this goal, all board members and administrators were provided with the students' baseline health information in aggregate format.;Design.;The study used a one group pretest-posttest quasi experimental design. Instruments used were: Healthy Lifestyle Belief Scale (HLBS), Healthy Lifestyle Choice Scale (HLCS), Nutritional Knowledge (NK), and Youth Adolescent Activity Questionnaire (YAAQ). Subjects.;The subjects were 9th grade students attending St Frances Academy, a small Catholic high school in urban Baltimore whose parents signed consent forms and who signed assent forms.;Results.;Despite the large discrepancies between students' weight gain and loss in this project, many students decreased their BMI. Two students reduced their BMI from overweight to normal category and two students from obese to overweight during the course of the program. In addition, one student went from underweight to normal weight. Scales relating to health beliefs and ability to make healthy behavior choices improved from pre to post intervention. (p = 0.007) and (p = 0.003) respectively.;Conclusion.;Providing a manualized program that educates adolescents about healthy nutrition and needed physical exercise incorporated into the normal school day is an effective strategy in improving healthy lifestyles and in weight management.