Pathways: a culturally appropriate obesity-prevention program for American Indian schoolchildren.

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Pathways, a culturally appropriate obesity prevention study for third-, fourth-, and fifth-grade American Indian schoolchildren includes an intervention that promotes increased physical activity and healthful eating behaviors. The Pathways intervention, developed through a collaboration of universities and American Indian nations, schools, and families, focuses on individual, behavioral, and environmental factors and merges constructs from social learning theory with American Indian customs and practices. We describe the Pathways program developed during 3 y of feasibility testing in American Indian schools, with special emphasis on the activities developed for the third grade; review the theoretical and cultural underpinnings of the program; outline the construction process of the intervention; detail the curriculum and physical education components of the intervention; and summarize the formative assessment and the school food service and family components of the intervention.