Online Child’s Health Assessment Tool for Obesity Prevention Programming


  • Laura A. Palmer Purdue University
  • Kimberly J. McCarthy The Pennsylvania State University
  • Daniel F. Perkins The Pennsylvania State University
  • Lynne M. Borden University of Minnesota
  • Jennifer M. DiNallo The Pennsylvania State University



childhood obesity, youth, CYFAR, after-school, CHAT, nutrition, physical activity, health


To optimize public health in the next decade, prevention of childhood obesity will remain a central focus. To impact behavioral change, data must be linked to continuous quality improvements within existing nutrition and physical activity programming. The Children, Youth, and Families At-Risk Professional Development and Technical Assistance Center has developed a picture-based, online survey tool, the CYFAR Health Assessment Tool (CHAT), to assess health behaviors in youth ages 6 to18 years of age. Used for continuous program improvement, aggregate data results are coupled with tailored health recommendations in 4 domains (behavior and environmental modifications, education, and direct strategies) and evidence-informed resources for dissemination to youth and parents. Program implementers use the data and resources for targeted programmatic improvements that more effectively promote health and well-being. CHAT also informs our collective understanding of youth’s perceptions of health in comparison to their actual behaviors.



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