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What Works in Community-Based Interventions Promoting Physical Activity and Healthy Eating? A Review of Reviews

1
Leibniz Institute for Prevention Research and Epidemiology—BIPS, Achterstrasse 30, 28359 Bremen, Germany
2
Research Focus Health Sciences Bremen, University of Bremen, 28359 Bremen, Germany
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(6), 5866-5888; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph110605866
Received: 28 February 2014 / Revised: 14 May 2014 / Accepted: 20 May 2014 / Published: 30 May 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Lifestyle Intervention for Chronic Diseases Prevention)
Chronic diseases, such as type II diabetes, are on the rise worldwide. There is consistent evidence that physical activity and healthy eating are important lifestyle factors which affect the risk for chronic diseases. Community-based interventions are of particular public health interest as they reach target groups in their natural living environment and may thus achieve high population-level impacts. We conducted a systematic literature search to assess the effectiveness of community-based interventions to promote physical activity and healthy eating. Specifically, we searched for promising intervention strategies in this setting. We narratively summarized the results of 18 systematic reviews. Among children and adolescents, we found moderate evidence for effects on weight change in primary school-aged children for interventions containing a school component. The evidence for interventions aimed at general adult populations was inconclusive. Self-monitoring, group-based components, and motivational signs to encourage stair use were identified as promising strategies to increase physical activity. Among adults at risk for type II diabetes, evidence was found for beneficial effects on weight change and diabetes incidence. However, interventions for this group were not integrated in more comprehensive community-based approaches. View Full-Text
Keywords: prevention; chronic diseases; health promotion; physical activity; healthy eating; community prevention; chronic diseases; health promotion; physical activity; healthy eating; community
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Brand, T.; Pischke, C.R.; Steenbock, B.; Schoenbach, J.; Poettgen, S.; Samkange-Zeeb, F.; Zeeb, H. What Works in Community-Based Interventions Promoting Physical Activity and Healthy Eating? A Review of Reviews. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11, 5866-5888.

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