The Effectiveness of School-Based Interventions on Obesity-Related Behaviours in Primary School Children: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomised Controlled Trials

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Abstract

School-based interventions are promising for targeting a change in obesity-related behaviours in children. However, the efficacy of school-based interventions to prevent obesity remains unclear. This review examined the effectiveness of school-based interventions at changing obesity-related behaviours (increased physical activity, decreased sedentary behaviour and improved nutrition behaviour) and/or a change in BMI/BMI z-score. Following PRISMA guidelines, seven databases were systematically searched from 1 January 2009 to 31 December 2020. Two review authors independently screened studies for eligibility, completed data extraction and assessed the risk of bias of each of the included studies. Forty-eight studies met the inclusion criteria and were included in a narrative synthesis. Thirty-eight studies were eligible for inclusion in a meta-analysis. The findings demonstrate that interventions in children when compared to controls resulted in a small positive treatment effect in the control group (2.14; 95% CI = 0.77, 3.50). There was no significant effect on sedentary behaviour, energy intake and fruit and vegetable intake. Significant reductions were found between groups in BMI kg/m2 (−0.39; 95% CI = −0.47, −0.30) and BMI z-score (−0.05; 95% CI = −0.08, −0.02) in favour of the intervention. The findings have important implications for future intervention research in terms of the effectiveness of intervention components and characteristics.
Original languageEnglish
Article number489
Number of pages21
JournalChildren
Volume8
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 8 Jun 2021

Keywords

  • physical activity
  • sedentary behaviour
  • systematic review
  • meta-analysis
  • nutrition
  • school-based intervention
  • Children
  • obesity
  • behaviour
  • randomised control trial

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