The effectiveness of a school-based intervention to decrease the risk of obesity in primary school children: non-randomized clinical study

Lacin Aksoy, Arzu Uzuner, Pemra C. Unalan, Aysegül Cengiz, Sümeyya Kılıççıoğlu, Uğur Salman, Batuhan Öçbe

Keywords: Keywords: childhood obesity ,overweight, intervention, risk assessment, primary school

The childhood obesity is a growing health problem in our country.
There are many intervention studies mostly designed for the management of the overweight and obese children, however the childhood obesity necessitates risk assessment and interventions to prevent the development of obesity.

Research questions:
What is the risk of obesity among primary school children and the effectiveness of a school based and interactive intervention planned for risky students and their parents?

This is a mixed type design with a cross-sectional study to determine the risk prevalence of obesity followed by a non-randomized controlled study to evaluate the effectiveness of an interactive intervention to decrease the determined risk.
Two different primary schools are selected, one for intervention (IG), the other for the control group (CG); primary year students is the universe. A questionnaire, Food Index (FI) and Family Nutrition and Physical Activity tool (FNPA) will be sent to all parents of both schools. The students with fulfilled questionnaires will be recruited in the study, anthropometric measurements will be performed at school. A risk scale defined by the researchers based on the obesity related questions, BMI, FI and FNPA scores. A total of 165 risky children (55 in IG-110 in CG) will form the sample size. This an eight-weeks and ten-sessions intervention; eight for the students only, two for parents, one with all together. The content is designed based on the principles of healthy nutrition; the methods will be interactive, including plays and role-plays. A student-parent education will be provided to the control group. At the 3rd-6th month following the course measurements and risk questionnaires will be repeated.

Primary outcomes: risk prevalence and the decrease in the risk scores.

Our study aims to contribute to primary care by detecting and intervening risky children before obesity develops in primary care.

Points for discussion:
Integration of effective and entertaining child friendly interventions to primary school curriculum could prevent childhood obesity.