School-Based Intervention as a Component of a Comprehensive Community Program for Overweight and Obesity Prevention, Sousse, Tunisia, 2009-2014.
Sommaire de l'article
Combating obesity at an early age, by improving physical activity and nutrition-related behaviors, is vital to the prevention of more critical health concerns in adulthood. This intervention study evaluated the effectiveness of a school-based component of a community behavioral intervention on overweight and obesity rates of adolescents in Sousse, Tunisia.
A quasi-experimental school-based intervention was conducted with an intervention group (in Sousse Jawhara and Sousse Riadh) and a control group (in Sousse Msaken). The intervention (which was a physical activity and nutrition program) lasted 3 years, with data at preintervention collected during the 2009-2010 school year and at postintervention collected during the 2013-2014 school year. Descriptive statistics and multivariate analysis were used to determine the effect of the intervention on risk of excess weight.
Results showed a significant increase in fruit and vegetable intake by the intervention group (P = .04). The intervention group had an increase in students in the normal weight category (P = .03) and a decrease in students in the overweight category (P = .03).The intervention effect was a protective factor against excess weight for the participating schoolchildren (OR, 0.84; P = .02).
This study showed that a school-based intervention is successful in increasing healthy dietary habits and in reducing risk of excess weight. It also showed the importance of a multisectoral approach to provide an environment conducive to healthy behaviors for adolescents.