Send to

Choose Destination
Am J Prev Med. 2009 Nov;37(5):418-27. doi: 10.1016/j.amepre.2009.07.012.

School-based interventions on childhood obesity: a meta-analysis.

Author information

Centre for Allied Health Evidence, University of South Australia, Adelaide, Australia.



Over the past decade, childhood obesity has been recognized as an increasing health problem worldwide. It is a predictor of obesity during adulthood, which is strongly linked to chronic lifestyle diseases.


This paper aims to evaluate the effectiveness of school-based programs in the prevention and management of childhood obesity.


A comprehensive literature search was undertaken for RCTs and clinical controlled trials on school-based interventions that addressed childhood obesity, published between 1995 and 2007. The papers included for the meta-analysis were those in which ORs or standardized mean differences and their 95% CIs were reported or could be calculated from available data.


Meta-analysis showed that the odds of participants' being overweight and obese in the school-based intervention programs compared with the control arm were significantly protective in the short term (OR=0.74, 95% CI=0.60, 0.92). Interventions that were conducted for more than 1 year had a higher OR of decreasing the prevalence of obesity. However, intervention programs were not effective in decreasing BMI compared with control treatments, with a weighted mean difference of -0.62 (95% CI=-1.39, 0.14).


This meta-analysis showed that there was convincing evidence that school-based interventions are effective, at least short-term, in reducing the prevalence of childhood obesity. Longer-running programs were more effective than shorter programs.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center