JAMA Pediatrics Study Highlights

Kristine Madsen, M.D., M.P.H., of the University of California, Berkeley, and colleagues examined the effect of the community-based, after-school soccer and youth development program, America SCORES, on students' physical activity, weight and fitness.

Among students with a higher body mass index (at or above the 85 th percentile) SCORES "significantly increased" moderate-to-vigorous physical activity after school (by 3.4 minutes per day) and on Saturdays (by 18.5 minutes). However, there were no significant group differences in the change in physical activity, fitness or weight status among all students, according to the study results.

The participants (n=156) came from after-school programs in six schools within a large urban school district. Three schools were picked to receive the SCORES after-school program.

"Existing community-based programs such as SCORES can increase physical activity among low-income youth, particularly those most at risk for weight-related comorbidities," the study concludes.