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Article

Impact of a Three-Year Obesity Prevention Study on Healthy Behaviors and BMI among Lebanese Schoolchildren: Findings from Ajyal Salima Program

1
Department of Nutrition and Food Sciences, Faculty of Agriculture and Food Sciences, American University of Beirut, Beirut 11-0236, Lebanon
2
Department of Epidemiology and Population Health, Faculty of Health Sciences, American University of Beirut, Beirut 11-0236, Lebanon
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Nutrients 2020, 12(9), 2687; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12092687
Received: 24 June 2020 / Revised: 11 August 2020 / Accepted: 14 August 2020 / Published: 3 September 2020
Most school-based obesity prevention programs in low- to middle-income countries are of short duration, and few undertake follow-up analyses after the termination of the project. The aims of the current study are to investigate (1) the long-term effects of a school-based intervention program when implemented over two years on body mass index (BMI), healthy dietary behaviors, and physical activity (PA); and (2) whether the effects are sustained after one-year washout. The study is a cluster-randomized trial; 36 public and private schools were randomized into either intervention or control groups. Students (8–12 years) completed pre-and post-assessment anthropometric measurements and questionnaires about their eating and physical activity habits. Students in the intervention groups received the program components for two consecutive years. Multiple logistic regression models were used to examine the effect of the intervention on BMI and healthy behaviors. Students in the intervention groups were less likely to be overweight at washout, only in public schools. The number of children reporting change in dietary behaviors significantly increased in intervention groups, with a sustained effect only in public schools. Policies aiming at securing a positive nutrition environment in schools, and adoption of nutrition programs, are needed for achieving sustained behavior and prompting BMI changes in children. View Full-Text
Keywords: childhood obesity; nutrition policies; Body Mass Index; schoolteachers; school health promotion childhood obesity; nutrition policies; Body Mass Index; schoolteachers; school health promotion
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MDPI and ACS Style

Habib-Mourad, C.; Ghandour, L.A.; Maliha, C.; Dagher, M.; Kharroubi, S.; Hwalla, N. Impact of a Three-Year Obesity Prevention Study on Healthy Behaviors and BMI among Lebanese Schoolchildren: Findings from Ajyal Salima Program. Nutrients 2020, 12, 2687. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12092687

AMA Style

Habib-Mourad C, Ghandour LA, Maliha C, Dagher M, Kharroubi S, Hwalla N. Impact of a Three-Year Obesity Prevention Study on Healthy Behaviors and BMI among Lebanese Schoolchildren: Findings from Ajyal Salima Program. Nutrients. 2020; 12(9):2687. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12092687

Chicago/Turabian Style

Habib-Mourad, Carla; Ghandour, Lilian A.; Maliha, Carla; Dagher, Michèle; Kharroubi, Samer; Hwalla, Nahla. 2020. "Impact of a Three-Year Obesity Prevention Study on Healthy Behaviors and BMI among Lebanese Schoolchildren: Findings from Ajyal Salima Program" Nutrients 12, no. 9: 2687. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12092687

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