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Prev Med. 2010 Sep-Oct;51(3-4):262-7. doi: 10.1016/j.ypmed.2010.05.015. Epub 2010 Jun 4.

School health education programs in Crete: evaluation of behavioural and health indices a decade after initiation.

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  • 1Department of Social Medicine, Preventive Medicine and Nutrition Clinic, Medical School, University of Crete, P.O. Box 1393 Heraklion, Crete, Greece.



To assess the long-term effectiveness of a school-based health education intervention program 10 years after its initiation.


In 1992 the total population of first grade students from three counties of Crete participated in the study. Over 1000 students were randomly selected for initial and periodic evaluation. Biochemical and behavioural parameters (anthropometric, lipoproteins, blood pressure, physical activity, dietary record and health habits) were measured. Re-evaluation of the program was performed at 3, 6 and 10 years after its initiation.


Ten years after the initiation of the program, the results showed that BMI had increased significantly less (p<0.001) and performance in the shuttle run test was significantly better (p<0.001) in the intervention group as compared to the control group. The reduction in total cholesterol noted in both groups was significantly greater in the intervention group than in the control group (p<0.001). The incidence of smoking was also significantly lower in the intervention group (intervention group 7%, control group 13%, p<0.005).


This program appears to improve children's health and decrease risk factors for chronic diseases. If these positive effects are maintained in the forthcoming decades, the risk of chronic diseases may well be reduced.

Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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