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Am J Public Health. 2010 Apr;100(4):646-53. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2009.165746. Epub 2010 Feb 18.

Effect of a two-year obesity prevention intervention on percentile changes in body mass index and academic performance in low-income elementary school children.

Author information

1
Department of Medicine,University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Miami, FL, USA. daniellehollar@gmail.com

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

We assessed the effects of a school-based obesity prevention intervention that included dietary, curricula, and physical activity components on body mass index (BMI) percentiles and academic performance among low-income elementary school children.

METHODS:

The study had a quasi-experimental design (4 intervention schools and 1 control school; 4588 schoolchildren; 48% Hispanic) and was conducted over a 2-year period. Data are presented for the subset of the cohort who qualified for free or reduced-price school lunches (68% Hispanic; n = 1197). Demographic and anthropometric data were collected in the fall and spring of each year, and academic data were collected at the end of each year.

RESULTS:

Significantly more intervention than control children stayed within normal BMI percentile ranges both years (P = .02). Although not significantly so, more obese children in the intervention (4.4%) than in the control (2.5%) decreased their BMI percentiles. Overall, intervention schoolchildren had significantly higher math scores both years (P < .001). Hispanic and White intervention schoolchildren were significantly more likely to have higher math scores (P < .001). Although not significantly so, intervention schoolchildren had higher reading scores both years.

CONCLUSIONS:

School-based interventions can improve health and academic performance among low-income schoolchildren.

PMID:
20167892
PMCID:
PMC2836343
DOI:
10.2105/AJPH.2009.165746
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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