This article is free to access.
Background: Home and school environments conducive for unhealthy eating and physical inactivity are precursors of obesity. The aim of this study is evaluation of the effectiveness of a multi-component school-based weight management programme for overweight and obese primary school children via a home-school joint venture. Methods: This study made use of variety of behavioural modification strategies integrating into the Health Promoting School approach to promote healthy lifestyles. The participants were overweight and obese students aged between 8 and 12 from six participating schools. The interventions involved students attending ten 75 minutes after-school sessions and one 3-hour week-end session of practical interactive and fun activities on healthy eating and exercise, and meal plan together with parents and printed tailor-made management advices. Parents received an introductory seminar with 2 sets of specially designed exercise for their overweight children. The tools to measure bodyweight and fat percentage and standing height were bio-impedance body fat scale and a portable stadiometer. Self-administered questionnaire was used to measure knowledge, attitudes and behaviours. McNemar test was utilized to compare the proportions of behaviour changes within the same group to assess for the trends of changes. BMI z-score and body fat percentage of intervention participants at baseline, 4 month and 8 month were compared pair-wisely using tests of within subject contrasts in repeated measures ANOVA to assess for programme sustainability. Results: Those students in the intervention group reduced their BMI z-score (-0.21, 95% CI -0.34 to -0.07, P = 0.003) and body fat (-2.67%, 95% CI -5.12 to -0.22, P = 0.033) compared to wait list control group with statistical significant, and the intervention group also had a significant reduction in BMI z-score (-0.06, 95% CI -0.11, -0.007, P = 0.028) and body fat (-1.71%, 95% CI, -3.44 to 0.02, P = 0.052) after a 4 month maintenance period. Improvement of dietary habits and positive attitudes towards exercise were observed among the intervention group. Conclusion: School based weight management programme integrated into a Health Promoting School approach with improved school policies and environment in supporting individual skills of obese students and their parents appears to be a promising practice for sustaining weight control.
Lee, A., Ho, M., Keung, V. M. W., & Kwong, A. C. M. (2014). Childhood obesity management shifting from health care system to school system: Intervention study of school-based weight management programme. BMC Public Health, 14(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/1471-2458-14-1128