Why MATCH Works...

MATCH Meets Clinical Recommendations

Despite authorities agreeing that schools are the logical place for childhood obesity intervention, few, if any programs have been able to claim success. MATCH was designed to provide a Stage One1 intervention in schools (see Table 1) to all seventh grade students, promoting healthy behaviors to all students, so that overweight and obese students are not singled out from their healthy weight peers.

Overcomes Barriers

MATCH overcomes barriers of access, transportation, and time to visit physicians or health professionals in costly one-on-one sessions by delivering quality, theory- and evidence-based wellness education to seventh grade students in schools. MATCH was designed by teachers and health professionals to scale. ~ See More ~

Uses Elements of Effective Interventions

MATCH addresses every element that is recommended by the United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) identified from effective interventions, from healthy eating and reading labels to goal setting and problem solving2. Additionally, MATCH exceeds the recommended 26 plus hours of intensive behavior modification required to produce significant weight loss. ~ See More ~

Achieves Categorical Weight Change

Between 2012 and 2017, 900 of 5,000 seventh grade MATCH students that began the program as overweight or obese (18%) decreased their BMI z-score by .25, the clinical threshold to significantly reduce risk of Cardiovascular Disease and Type II Diabetes2 (see Figure 1).

Table 1

American Medical Association Recommends
a Staged Approach for Prevention, Treatment and
Rehabilitation of Overweight and Obesity in Children1

Stage Description
4. Tertiary Care Intervention Stage 3 plus medications, weight control surgery
3. Comprehensive
Multidisciplinary Intervention
Multidisciplinary team with experience in childhood obesity, meets weekly for 8-12 weeks with follow up
2. Structured
Family visits with physician or health professional specifically trained in weight management
1. Prevention-Plus
Delivered by physician or health professional, focus on health behaviors (i.e. decrease in screen time, eliminate sugary beverages, increase physical activity, increase fruits and veggies)

1. Barlow et al., 2007. Expert Committee Recommendations Regarding the Prevention, Assessment, and Treatment of Child and Adolescent Overweight and Obesity: Summary Report. Pediatrics 12(suppl): S164-S192

2. US Preventive Services Task Force, 2017. Recommendation for Childhood Obesity Screening in Context. JAMA 317(23): 2417-2426

Figure 1


Magnitude of BMI z-score Change on Cardiometabolic Risk

A decrease in BMI z-score of 0.25 or more is reported to positively impact risk factors (total cholesterol/HDL ratio, improved insulin sensitivity, and blood pressure) associated with cardiovascular diseases and metabolic diseases such as obesity and Type II Diabetes.3 If implemented on a large-scale, MATCH has the potential to have a population level impact on reducing risks of chronic diseases that drive health care costs.
Among 5,000 MATCH participants, 24% of students that began the program as overweight and 13% of students that began the program as obese achieved a clinically significant decrease in BMI z-score at the end of MATCH.
Schools can be the effective setting to deliver a program designed to meet both educational and clinical standards, that will result in healthier students better equipped to learn!

3. Ford, et al. 2010. What reduction in BMI SDS is required in obese adolescents to improve body composition and cardiometabolic health? Arch Dis Child. 95:256-261.