Division of Epidemiology
University of Minnesota
1300 S. 2nd Street
Minneapolis, MN 55454
Project EAT 2010 used an ecological framework to guide the collection of data at the individual, family, friend, school, and neighborhood levels on factors of potential relevance to weight status and related behaviors among adolescents. Approximately 2800 adolescents from 20 metropolitan middle and high schools in Minnesota completed surveys about their eating, physical activity, and weight-related behaviors. Surveys and measurements of student height and weight were completed in school classrooms during the 2009-2010 school year. In addition, measurements of peer, school, and neighborhood environments were completed by peers themselves, school personnel, and Project EAT staff. Parents of the adolescent participants were invited to complete surveys regarding home environments as part of Project F-EAT. Details of the research design are described below and published manuscripts from Project EAT 2010 will be posted on the Publications page as the data are analyzed.
Project EAT 2010 addresses five major research questions:
- How do weight status and related behaviors among adolescents compare with the Healthy People Objectives?
- How do different factors, including characteristics of environments (i.e., home/family, peer, school, and neighborhood environments), personal factors and behavioral factors, work together to influence weight status and related behaviors?
- What are the most important environmental, personal, and behavioral influences on weight status and related behaviors for adolescents?
- How do weight status, weight-related behaviors, and influencing factors differ across gender, ethnicity/race, and socioeconomic status?
- What secular changes in weight status and related behaviors have occurred over the past 10 years among middle school and high school students?
Surveys were administered by trained research staff to middle and high school students in the Minneapolis and St. Paul school districts in Minnesota. Students completed the Project EAT 2010 Student Survey, a food frequency questionnaire, and a physical activity questionnaire. The Project EAT 2010 Student Survey was developed by the principal investigator and research team to assess weight status, weight-related behaviors, and potential correlates of these outcomes. Trained research staff also collected student height and weight measurements using a standardized protocol.
Surveys regarding the school environment were completed by personnel at each participating school, including an administrator, food service manager, and physical activity teacher. The surveys were designed to assess school resources, policies, and practices of relevance to eating, physical activity, and weight-related harassment.
Geographic data are being used to learn about residential and school neighborhood environments. Measurements relating to local food environments, utilitarian physical activity environments, recreational physical activity environments, and neighborhood safety are being completed by the Spatial Analysis Core at the Minnesota Population Center.
Additional details about the EAT 2010 Survey are posted online.