Short-term effects of school-based weight gain prevention among adolescents
Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine , Volume 161 - Issue 6 p. 565- 571
Objective: To determine whether a multicomponent health promotion intervention for Dutch adolescents would be successful in influencing body composition and aerobic fitness. Design: Randomized controlled trial. Setting: Ten intervention and 8 control prevocational secondary schools. Participants: A total of 978 adolescents (mean age, 12.7 years). Intervention: An interdisciplinary multicomponent intervention program with an adapted curriculum for 11 biology and physical education lessons and environmental change options, including additional lessons on physical education and advice on the school canteen selection. Main Outcome Measures: Body height and weight, hip and waist circumference, 4 skinfold thickness measurements, and aerobic fitness. Results: Multilevel analyses showed significant differences in changes after the 8-month intervention period in favor of the intervention group with regard to hip circumference (mean difference, 0.53 cm; 95% confidence interval, 0.07 to 0.98) and sum of skinfolds among girls (mean difference, ?2.31 mm; 95% confidence interval, ?4.34 to ?0.28). In boys, the intervention resulted in a significant difference in waist circumference (mean difference, ?0.57 cm; 95% confidence interval, ?1.10 to ?0.05). No significant intervention effects were found related to aerobic fitness. Conclusions: The multicomponent Dutch Obesity Intervention in Teenagers program positively influenced several measures of body composition among both girls and boys. Our results indicate that secondary prevocational school curriculum changes may contribute to excessive weight gain prevention among adolescents.