MATCH, Motivating Adolescents with Technology to CHOOSE Health,TM is a middle school-based, childhood obesity intervention that uses an interdisciplinary approach to student wellness. The program combines a nutrition, physical activity and technology curriculum with a web-based resource system to meet educational and wellness objectives simultaneously. MATCH teaches students how the health choices they make will impact their future.
The program is aligned with the national Common Core educational standards, Center for Disease Control's (CDC) school model, the Coordinated School Health Program (CSHP) and follows recommendations for achieving a healthy weight as outlined in the American Medical Association (AMA) Expert Committee on the Assessment, Prevention, and Treatment of Child and Adolescent Overweight and Obesity.
To implement MATCH, teachers are trained to deliver lessons within their subject area, one teacher acts as a coordinator to help plan lessons across disciplines, all materials are made available via a secure website, and students have all lessons in a student-friendly workbook. The MATCH curriculum follows an intentional progression of lessons, goals and activities. Using a "Body Systems" approach as the framework and with intermittent program rewards (water bottles, pens), students are taught a sequenced series of interdisciplinary wellness-themed lessons across the curriculum.
Program results are promising and have been described in a peer-reviewed article in the journal Childhood Obesity. MATCH was recently highlighted in the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of NC 2012-2013 Annual Report. Click here to view the story on MATCH, found on page 3.
Mr. Tim Hardison, a former middle-school science teacher, developed MATCH and now serves as program director through the PHWRTC. Mr. Hardison works closely with Dr. Suzanne Lazorick, a PHWRTC pediatrician and obesity researcher, to implement and evaluate the program. Current funding for the program is provided by the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust, the Fullerton Foundation and Blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation of North Carolina.