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Prev Med. 2006 Dec;43(6):442-6. Epub 2006 Jul 27.

Ten-year follow-up of the Cretan Health and Nutrition Education Program on children's physical activity levels.

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  • 1Department of Nutrition and Dietetics, Harokopio University, 70, El.Venizelou Ave, 176 71 Kallithea, Athens, Greece.



To examine the effect of a 6-year school-based intervention program, implemented on the island of Crete, on children's physical activity levels at the end of the intervention and at a follow-up examination 4 years after program's cessation.


Subjects with complete moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA) data at baseline, post-intervention and follow-up examination (Academic years 1992-1993, 1997-1998 and 2001-2002 respectively) were included in the analysis [n = 425: Intervention Group (IG): 238; Control Group (CG): 187]. Repeated measures analysis of variance and logistic regression analysis were mainly performed to evaluate the tested hypothesis.


Subject's mean age was 6.3, 11.5 and 15.3 years at baseline, post-intervention and follow-up examination, respectively. MVPA levels were significantly higher for males in the IG than CG at post-intervention (510.2 +/- 404.6 vs. 350.7 +/- 308.0 min/week, P < 0.001) and follow-up (112.3 +/- 78.9 vs. 96.3 +/- 67.0 min/week, P = 0.029). Furthermore, males in the IG were 2.3 (P = 0.011) and 2.1 (P = 0.041) times more likely to meet recommendations for physical activity at the post-intervention and the follow-up examination, respectively, than the CG. No significant findings were observed for females.


The current study indicates a favorable effect of the intervention on boys' physical activity levels, which was maintained 4 years after the end of the program.

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