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Revista médica de Chile

Print version ISSN 0034-9887

Abstract

KAIN B, Juliana et al. Effectiveness of a dietary and physical activity intervention to prevent obesity in school age children. Rev. méd. Chile [online]. 2008, vol.136, n.1, pp.22-30. ISSN 0034-9887.  http://dx.doi.org/10.4067/S0034-98872008000100003.

Background: With the aim of contributing to he Healthy Goal 2010 of reducing significantly the prevalence of childhood obestiy we developed and implemented during 2003 and 2004, a school-based obesity prevention intervention which included nutrition education and the promotion of physical activity. Aim To report the results of the intervention. Material and methods: The sample included 1760 children (1st to 7th grade) from 3 elementary public schools in Casablanca (experimental group) and 671 from a similar school located in Quillota, a neighboring city (control). Primary outcomes were body mass index (BMI) Zscore, the mile and shuttle-run tests and obesity prevalence. We also compared changes in waist circumference and triceps skinfold between both groups. Effectiveness of the intervention was assessed by analyzing separately the group *age* time interaction for the first 3 outcomes (follow-up-baseline), using a mixed model of covariance and by comparing variations in obesity prevalence between both groups. Results: There was a significant decline in BMI Z scores in experimental schools for both genders, but greater in boys (p <0.001 versus p =0.0034 in girls), while in controls, BMI Z scores increased. Obesity prevalence declined significantly in experimental schools; from 17 to 12.3% and from 14.1 to 10.3% in boys and girls respectively, while in the control group, it remained unchanged. Also, triceps skinfold in girls from Casablanca increased significantly ¡ess than that of control girls. Conclusion: This intervention proved that it is possible to reduce significantly the prevalence of obesity in Chilean schoolchildren attending public elementary schools (Rev Méd Chile 2008, 136:22-30)

Keywords : Body mass index; Child, preschool; Obesity, Children, prevention.

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