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Children Arizona (HCA) program was developed to promote early, positive
exposure to cancer-preventive diet, physical activity and sun safety behaviors.
Five lessons delivered weekly were evaluated by classroom teachers while pre-
and post-curriculum surveys examined increases in students’ understanding of
concepts and self-reported behavior. The first and second graders and their
teachers in ethnically diverse elementary schools (including Title 1) in Tucson
and Phoenix, Arizona participated in the curriculum assessment. All 5
interactive lessons were highly rated by teachers in qualitative assessments.
Aggregated analyses of pre- (n = 582) and post-
(n = 588) comparison tests indicated that the HCA curriculum significantly
increased students’ knowledge of each of six measured concepts (p < 0.0001),
although correct choice of muscle-building foods (25%), whole grain items
(78%) and target time for daily exercise (61%) were lower than desired. Mean
self-reported fruit and vegetable servings eaten in the previous day increased
from 3.1 ± 1.8 to 3.8 ± 1.6 (p < 0.0001). The HCA curriculum significantly
improved cancer prevention knowledge among primary school children.