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Nutrients 2016, 8(1), 12; doi:10.3390/nu8010012

Effects of a Theory-Based Education Program to Prevent Overweightness in Primary School Children

1
Netherlands organization for applied scientific research (TNO), Division of Child Health, P.O. Box 3005, 2301 DA Leiden, The Netherlands
2
Leiden University Medical Center (LUMC), Department of Public Health and Primary Care, P.O. Box 9600, 2300 RC Leiden, The Netherlands
3
The Hague University of Applied Sciences, Nutrition and Dietetics, P.O. Box 13336, 2501 EH The Hague, The Netherlands
4
Radboud Institute for Health Sciences, Radboud university medical center, P.O. Box 9101, 6500 HB Nijmegen, The Netherlands
5
Netherlands organization for applied scientific research (TNO), Division of Life Style, P.O. Box 3005, 2301 DA Leiden, The Netherlands
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 2 November 2015 / Revised: 8 December 2015 / Accepted: 14 December 2015 / Published: 4 January 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food Choice and Nutrition: A Social Psychological Perspective)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [408 KB, uploaded 4 January 2016]   |  

Abstract

The effectiveness of the “Extra Fit!” (EF!) education program in promoting healthy diet and physical activity to prevent and reduce overweightness among primary school children aged 9 to 11 was evaluated. A randomized controlled design was carried out in 45 primary schools (n = 1112) in the Netherlands, 23 intervention and 22 control schools. The intervention schools received the education program for two successive school years in grades (U.S. system) 4, 5, and 6 (mean 7.6 h during 16 weeks per school per year). The control schools followed their usual curriculum. No positive effects of EF! were found with regard to behavior and anthropometric measures when follow-up measurements were compared to the baseline. However, from baseline to follow-up after one and two school years, the intervention group improved their knowledge score significantly compared to the control group. Moreover, an effect was observed for mean time spent inactively that increased more in the control group than in the intervention group. In conclusion, limited intervention effects were found for the intervention on knowledge and inactivity. To improve the effectiveness of education programs, we advise focusing on parental involvement, attractive lessons to enlarge the acceptability of the program, and multi-component environmental strategies. View Full-Text
Keywords: overweight; primary school children; education program; RCT; nutrition; physical activity; behavioral determinants overweight; primary school children; education program; RCT; nutrition; physical activity; behavioral determinants
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Kocken, P.L.; Scholten, A.-M.; Westhoff, E.; De Kok, B.P.H.; Taal, E.M.; Goldbohm, R.A. Effects of a Theory-Based Education Program to Prevent Overweightness in Primary School Children. Nutrients 2016, 8, 12.

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