A cascade model for school wellness programming: A feasibility case study

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1 Scopus citations


Objective: In this paper, we report on the Wellness Cascade process for engaging stakeholders in population-level school-based obesity preventive/treatment programming. Methods: We im-plemented the 5-step process to improve body mass index (BMI) >85th percentile (elevated BMI) or participation in less than 7 hours a week of moderately vigorous physical activity (inadequate MVPA) by defining numerators and denominators, identifying potential data sources, consider-ing data source issues, and compiling and analyzing data. Results: We collected and compiled data on 239 youth (ages 11-14 years) during the 2016-2017 and 2017-2018 school years. Partici-pant attainment of Wellness Cascade step milestones included Step 1 (Assessment) where 56% and 84% of those assessed had elevated BMI and inadequate MVPA, respectively; Step 2 (Enroll-ment) where 39% and 40% of participants with elevated BMI and inadequate MVPA, respective-ly, enrolled in preventive/treatment programming; Step 3 (Engagement) where 38% and 39%, respectively, engaged in programming; Step 4 (Completion) where 33% and 34%, respectively, completed programming; and Step 5 (Outcomes) where 16% with elevated BMI improved their BMI and 19% with inadequate MVPA increased hours spent in MVPA and attained expected out-comes. Conclusion: Stakeholder Wellness Cascade adoption can facilitate monitoring via attainment of step milestones which identify gaps in obesity prevention and treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)38-50
Number of pages13
JournalHealth Behavior and Policy Review
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2020


  • Body mass index (BMI)
  • Health program planning
  • Obesity
  • Physical activity
  • School health
  • Wellness Cascade

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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