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The Motivating Adolescents with Technology to CHOOSE Health (MATCH) is a direct education and PSE Change intervention designed to decrease BMI and increase healthy eating and physical activity among 7th-grade students. Lessons are taught over one academic year by subject-level teachers and provide a conceptual understanding of positive dietary and physical activity habits and the potential effects on health status. Lessons and are embedded within national curriculum standards for Math, Language Arts, Healthful Living, Science, and Social Studies. The behavior modification component includes individual application, self-monitoring, goal-setting, and skill-building to begin internalizing positive health behaviors. MATCH includes a web-based data management system that provides teachers with all necessary resources and materials, tracks participant results with functionality to generate reports, and allows school administrators and project staff to monitor fidelity and manage data. Students' heights and weights and self-report health behaviors are collected pre- and post-intervention to assess the effectiveness of the program.

Intervention Target Behavior: Healthy Eating, Physical Activity and Reducing Screen Time

SNAP-Ed Strategies: Direct Education, PSE Change

Intervention Reach and Adoption

MATCH targets 7th-grade students at middle schools. MATCH is designed to reach all seventh-grade students enrolled in regular ("mainstream" or non-Exceptional Education) classes at a middle school. In the 2017-18 school year, 46 schools completed the intervention and 4224/6293 (67%) 7th-grade students were reached in the intervention. On average, the student population where MATCH has been implemented is 63% African American, two-thirds with low socioeconomic status, and 51% overweight or obese.

Settings: Schools

age/Population Group: Middle School

Race: All

Ethnicity: Hispanic or Latino Origin, Not of Hispanic or Latino Origin

Intervention Components

MATCH includes interdisciplinary lessons and activities, pre- and post- self-report health behavior surveys, pre- and post- height and weight assessments, pre- and post- fitness assessments, goal-setting, self-monitoring through periodic health behavior surveys, physical activity logs, and incentives. These intervention components teach students the importance of eating healthy and being physically active now and provide students with health skills that ultimately lead to behavior change and improved student health. There is a 2-3 week Kickoff unit with 2-3 lessons per subject to introduce MATCH and essential topics. Over 30 lessons are provided, but about 20 lessons comprise the "core" curriculum. MATCH also includes an online data management system with access to lesson materials and real-time views of school-level implementation data. Students, teachers, and administrators all receive access to the MATCH software as part of the program. MATCH follows an intentional progression of goals, lessons, and activities informed by Social Cognitive Theory, Self Determination Theory, and the Social-Ecological Model. Approval at the district level of a school system is required to adopt the MATCH curriculum into the existing school day. Flexible implementation options for schools are available such as the program being implemented across 1 or 2 semesters or by 1 teacher instead of an interdisciplinary manner.

Intervention Materials

Materials and resources provided by the MATCH program include:

  • MATCH Software/Data Management System
  • MATCH lessons/activities
  • Student workbook containing MATCH Core lessons
  • Pre- and post- measurements of heights and weights, fitness testing and student-assessed lifestyle habits
  • MATCH incentives including pens, drawstring bags, water bottles, and pedometers
  • Scales and stadiometers

Any school that has 7th graders is eligible to participate in MATCH.  

MATCH has made several enhancements to better support remote instruction and delivery. The resources include:

  • MyActionPlan- Assists students to analyze their baseline data of health behaviors, BMI status, and Aerobic Fitness classification to develop MySMARTGoals. Based upon multiple evidence-based health behavioral change theories, algorithms developed specifically using Motivational Interviewing principles educate students and allow them to select health behaviors they choose to improve. Progress toward MySMART Goals are tracked and supported throughout the implementation to result in positive behavior change.
  • MyQuizzes- MATCH Lesson Quizzes can now be taken online to evaluate instructional effectiveness remotely. Quizzes are automatically graded and recorded in MyGradebook from their teacher's login. 
  • MyMeasures- MATCH now offers a "self-reported" option for remotely entering baseline data such as heights and weights, and Aerobic Fitness measures (PACER) for students not able to participate in baseline data collection in regular school implementation.
Evidence Summary

Peer-reviewed findings have been published (see links below). MATCH outcome evaluation completed in 2008-2009 showed significant BMI decreases compared to control post-intervention and improvement sustained after 1 year. At 4 years, among all participants, BMI z-score decreased in MATCH and increased in control. Self-reported lifestyle behaviors were also assessed. At 1 year, no differences were found between MATCH and control, but at 4 years, MATCH participants reported fewer total servings of sweetened beverages and snacks and fewer hours of weekday TV time than control.

Additional MATCH scientific and press publications can be found at this website.

Evidence Base: Research-tested

Evaluation Indicators

Based on the SNAP-Ed Evaluation Framework, the following outcome indicators can be used to evaluate intervention progress and success.

 Readiness and Capacity - Short Term (ST)Changes - Medium Term (MT)Effectiveness and Maintenance - Long Term (LT)Population Results (R)
Individual MT1, MT3 R9
Environmental SettingsST7 LT7, LT8, LT9
Sectors of InfluenceST8  
Evaluation Materials

The MATCH Data Management System (DMS) provides data entry forms for height and weight and computes BMI. The lifestyle behavioral survey is also housed in the MATCH DMS. Aggregate pre-post reports are generated by the MATCH DMS after all pre and post data has been entered.

Additional Information

Website: The MATCH website includes additional information on how the MATCH program works, current press, details for administrators and teachers, and testimonials on the program's use and results.

Contact Person:

Tim Hardison - Founder/President



*Updated as of August 9, 2023