The Research Study


The New Moves program started in 1996 with a needs assessment in the St. Paul, Minnesota School District. The program was pilot tested and developed over a series of three years (1996–1999) at area high schools. In 2000–01, a full study, funded by the American Heart Association (Grant # 9970064N) was conducted in 3 control and 3 intervention schools to assess the feasibility of program implementation.

In 2005, an NIH grant was awarded to implement and evaluate the New Moves program. The materials were updated and pilot tested at Highland Park High School in 2006, and the full intervention was completed in two phases after refinement of the materials and intervention design. For the 2007–2008 school year, the program was implemented in the St. Paul School District, and in 2008–2009 in suburban schools in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area.

The intervention condition, which was implemented in six schools, included the New Moves class, individual counseling sessions for participants, a parent event, guest instructors, and lunch bunches. Teachers at intervention schools were trained by New Moves staff and students received study materials, including the Girl Pages. The control condition consisted of an all-girls physical education class at six schools.

New Moves Research Staff

New Moves included an evaluation team and a separate intervention team. For a list of the core staff involved in the study, click here.

Study materials

New Moves provided each participant with their own copy of the Girl Pages. The version used for the study included resources specific to the study protocol and location. The documents below were the versions used in the New Moves study, from 2007–2009, and are provided here for information only. For the updated and revised version of the Girl Pages which can be used in any classroom or program, please see the Program Materials section.

Girl Pages (study specific version) Teacher's Guide (study specific version) Motivational Interviewing Scripts


Schools in the Minneapolis/St. Paul metropolitan area were recruited through invitation from University of Minnesota staff. Schools were selected after meetings between district staff, teachers, and study staff. New Moves was promoted as an all-girls alternative physical education class with a supportive and non-competitive environment. Recruitment materials (e.g., posters, class descriptions) were designed to attract girls who were inactive, felt uncomfortable in regular physical education classes, and were interested in learning about healthy weight management. Girls were recruited by teachers, New Moves staff, guidance counselors, and through posters and cards advertising New Moves. For recruitment materials, see the Recruitment and Evaluation page. For sample class descriptions used in course guidebooks to explain New Moves, click here.


Data and measurements of New Moves participants were collected at baseline, post-class and following the maintenance phase. Percent body fat was assessed with DXA (Dual energy X-Ray Absorptiometry). Height and weight were also assessed. Self-report data on eating, exercise, body image, and self-efficacy for healthy behaviors were also gathered using the 3DPAR, 24-hour dietary recalls, and the New Moves survey, which can be found here.

Overall impressions of New Moves

Process data were also collected. New Moves was well-received by students, teachers, and parents throughout all phases of the study. For quotes that highlight New Moves, see here.