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Ann Nutr Metab. 2012;61(4):281-8. doi: 10.1159/000341495. Epub 2012 Dec 3.

Impact of a 'school-based' nutrition intervention on anthropometric parameters and the metabolic syndrome in Spanish adolescents.

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Endocrinology and Nutrition Unit, University Hospital San Cecilio, Granada, Spain.



In adolescents, overweight and obesity are associated with an increased cardiovascular risk. The aim of this study was to determine the impact of a school-based nutritional education program (NEP) on lifestyle changes in Spanish adolescents.


We selected 263 secondary school students (127 males) aged 12-16 years from Granada (Spain), who were followed up throughout 1 school year (2009-2010). At the beginning and end of the school year, data were gathered on the food consumption frequency, and anthropometric and biochemical profile. The NEP comprised a class on nutritional recommendations every 15 days, and administration of a daily breakfast of 275-350 kcal.


After the intervention, the prevalence of overweight and obesity decreased among both male and female students (p < 0.001) and there was also a global reduction in the prevalence of the metabolic syndrome (MS) from 32.2 to 19.7% (p < 0.001); in addition, body mass index was significantly decreased in normal weight, overweight and obesity groups (p = 0.001 and p = 0.02, respectively), and high-density-lipoprotein cholesterol and lean body mass was increased in all groups (p = 0.001).


The NEP achieved a medium-term reduction in the prevalence of overweight and obesity and had a significant and positive effect on MS components in all groups.

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