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Mendoza Lab

Current Research

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Evaluation of a Walking School Bus Program

walking school bus

With funding from the National Cancer Institute, the Mendoza team is leading a five-year study of a program called the “walking school bus,” where adults supervise groups of kids as they walk to school. The study’s researchers and staff oversee walking school buses in low-income areas where childhood obesity rates are highest. The goals include helping kids become more physically active and maintain a healthy body weight, and teaching them how to walk and bike safely. The study was featured in a recent KOMO news story, and six Seattle schools are participating for the 2013–2014 school year.

For more information, please email Alan Waite.

Evaluation of a Bicycle Train Program

With funding from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, Mendoza and his colleagues are conducting a pilot study to investigate the health impacts of “bicycle train” programs, where kids are supervised while they bike to school. Study participants get free bikes and safety training from the Cascade Bicycle Club, and learn bike maintenance from Bike Works. This study could provide important preliminary data to motivate a larger study, which could help determine whether bicycle trains should be incorporated into public policy.

For more information, please email Doris Uscanga.

Reducing Television Viewing to Prevent Obesity in Hispanic Preschool Children

Television viewing is a major risk factor for childhood obesity. This study evaluates an intervention, called “Fit 5 Kids” (i.e., fit by age 5 years), that is a preschool curriculum designed to decrease TV viewing. The goals are to teach participants to decrease their TV watching; encourage alternative activities such as family meals and active playtime; and reduce excess weight gain.

Read more at Clinicaltrials.gov.

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