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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2012, 9(4), 1355-1367; doi:10.3390/ijerph9041355

The Impact of an Intervention Taught by Trained Teachers on Childhood Overweight

1,2,* , 3
1 School of Nursing, University of Minho, Largo do Paço, 4704-553 Braga, Portugal 2 Research Centre in Child Studies, School of Education, University of Minho, Campus de Gualtar, 4710-057 Braga, Portugal 3 Faculty of Nutrition and Food Sciences, University of Porto, Rua Roberto Frias, 4200-465 Porto, Portugal 4 Sports’Medical Center, Tempo Livre, Alameda Cidade de Lisboa, Creixomil, 4835-037 Guimarães, Portugal 5 Faculty of Medicine, University of Porto, Al. Prof. Hernâni Monteiro, 4200-319 Porto, Portugal 6 Research Centre in Physical Activity, Health and Leisure, Universiy of Porto, Rua Dr. Plácido Costa, 91, 4200-450 Porto, Portugal
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 14 October 2011 / Revised: 14 December 2011 / Accepted: 4 January 2012 / Published: 16 April 2012
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Childhood Obesity: Prevention and Treatment)
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The purpose of this study was to assess the effects of a six-months’ nutrition program, delivered and taught by classroom teachers with in-service nutrition training, on the prevention of overweight and obesity among children in grades 1 to 4. In this randomized trial, four hundred and sixty four children from seven elementary schools were allocated to a nutrition educational program delivered by their own teachers. Intervened teachers had 12 sessions of three hours each with the researchers throughout six months, according to the topics nutrition and healthy eating, the importance of drinking water and healthy cooking activities. After each session, teachers were encouraged to develop activities in class focused on the learned topics. Sociodemographic, anthropometric, dietary, and physical activity assessments were performed at baseline and at the end of the intervention. In the intervention group the increase in Body Mass Index (BMI) z-score was significantly lower than in the control group (p = 0.009); fewer proportion of children became overweight in the intervened group compared with the control (5.6% vs. 18.4%; p = 0.037). Our study provides further support to decrease the overweight epidemic, involving classroom teachers in a training program and making them dedicated interventionists.
Keywords: BMI z-score; children; obesity; overweight; trained teachers; health promotion BMI z-score; children; obesity; overweight; trained teachers; health promotion
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY) which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Rosário, R.; Oliveira, B.; Araújo, A.; Lopes, O.; Padrão, P.; Moreira, A.; Teixeira, V.; Barros, R.; Pereira, B.; Moreira, P. The Impact of an Intervention Taught by Trained Teachers on Childhood Overweight. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2012, 9, 1355-1367.

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