An Evaluation of the Effectiveness of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration Mission-X Child Health Promotion Program in the United States

Jungwon Min, Zhengqi Tan, Laurie Abadie, Scott Townsend, Hong Xue, Youfa Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Purpose: To examine the effects of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration Mission-X: Train Like an Astronaut program (MX) on children’s health-related knowledge and behaviors of a sample of US participants. Design: A nonexperimental pilot intervention study in 5 cities with a pre–post comparison of children’s health-related knowledge and behaviors in the United States in 2014 and 2015. Sample: Children (n = 409) with a mean age (standard deviation) of 10.1 (1.7) years. Measures: Children answered pre- and postintervention questionnaires. We measured the differences in children’s health knowledge on nutrition and physical fitness and behaviors on diet and physical activity as scores. Intervention: A 6-week web- and school-based intervention for a healthier lifestyle by introducing physical fitness and science activities based on actual astronaut training under a teacher’s supervision. Analysis: Nonparametric analysis and logistic regression models. Results: Participants significantly improved both of their health behaviors on physical activity (P <.001) and diet (P =.06) and their health knowledge regarding nutrition (P <.001) and physical fitness (P <.001) after the intervention. The improvement in children’s behaviors (P <.001), knowledge (P <.001), and the total score (P <.001) after intervention did not significantly vary by sex or age, after adjusting for year of participation and state of residency. Discussion: The MX seems effective in improving health behaviors and health knowledge of participating children, which may serve as a model for sustainable global child health promotion program. Further research is needed to test its long-term effects on child health.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1333-1339
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Health Promotion
Volume32
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2018

Keywords

  • childhood obesity
  • intervention
  • knowledge
  • nutrition
  • physical activity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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