Document Type



Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Dietetics and Nutrition

First Advisor's Name

Fatma huffman

First Advisor's Committee Title

committee chair

Second Advisor's Name

Catherine Coccia

Second Advisor's Committee Title

Committee member

Third Advisor's Name

Kathryn Hartlieb

Third Advisor's Committee Title

Committee member

Fourth Advisor's Name

Ibrahimou Boubakari

Fourth Advisor's Committee Title

Committee member

Fifth Advisor's Name

Moataz Eltoukhy

Fifth Advisor's Committee Title

Committee member


childhood obesity prevention, nutrition, after-school intervention, NAO robot, obesity

Date of Defense



The objective of this study was to determine the effectiveness of a 6 week afterschool nutrition and physical activity intervention administered by a registered dietitian with the help of a humanoid robot targeting elementary school aged children aged 6-12 years. The study was conducted across four Young Men’s Christian’s Association (YMCA) sites in Miami-Dade County, Florida (N= 114, Mean age: 8.16 ±1.57 years) using a pretest-posttest quasi-experimental design via randomly assigned intervention (two sites; n=63) and comparison groups (two sites; n=51). The validated Coordinated Approach to Child Health (CATCH) kids club questionnaire and the validated Previous Day Physical Activity Recall (PDPAR) were used to assess nutrition and physical activity knowledge, attitudes/beliefs and behavior change. The Inbody 230 instrument (Biospace, California) was used to calculate body composition and weight. Body Mass Index (BMI) percentiles and associated BMI z-scores for age and gender were calculated based on the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) growth charts. Data measures were collected at baseline (week 0) and one-week post intervention (week 7). Statistical analysis included independent t-test, paired t-test, chi-squared test, Wilcoxon signed ranks test and logistic regression. Results indicated that nutrition knowledge score significantly increased from 67.43% ±21.03 to 81.31% ±18.47 in the intervention group (p





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