New Moves is aimed at preventing weight-related problems such as obesity, inadequate physical activity, poor eating behaviors, unhealthy weight control practices, and body dissatisfaction in adolescent girls. Weight loss goals are not discussed. Rather, New Moves focuses on behavioral changes and aims to provide a supportive environment where all girls feel comfortable being physically active and discussing weight-related issues, regardless of their size, shape, or level of physical activity. The underlying philosophy of the program is that if girls feel good about themselves, they will want to take care of their bodies. Eight behavioral objectives are targeted throughout the New Moves program: (1) be more physically active, (2) limit sedentary time, (3) increase fruit and vegetable intake, (4) limit sugar-sweetened beverages, (5) eat breakfast every day, (6) pay attention to portion sizes and the body's signs of hunger and satiety, (7) avoid unhealthy weight control behaviors (e.g., skipping meals, fasting, taking diet pills, smoking cigarettes for weight control), and (8) focus on one's positive traits.
The program is administered to participants in an all-girls school physical education class (as an alternative to the regular coeducational physical education class). The curriculum is delivered over a 9-month school year (modifiable to a quarter or trimester schedule), with flexibility in the time and format of the program's delivery. The first semester of the year includes eight nutrition and eight social support lessons delivered in 50-minute class periods, plus individual counseling sessions with a New Moves coach. During the class, nutrition and social support lessons are offered once a week on alternating weeks. On the other 4 days of the week, participants attend the girls-only physical education class. The second semester consists of maintenance activities; for example, during weekly lunch bunches, girls are served healthy food and they engage in informal discussions on New Moves topics with New Moves staff. They also continue to receive individual coaching sessions.
The individual coaching sessions with the New Moves coach are scheduled for 15-20 minutes. The girls set personal goals for behavioral change based on the eight behavioral objectives and explore how to best achieve their goals and (if ready) make a plan for change. Motivational interviewing strategies are used to assist the girls in moving toward change.