Reducing unhealthy weight gain in children through community capacity−building: results of a quasi−experimental intervention program, Be Active Eat Well
Sanigorski, A.M., Bell, A.C., Kremer, P.J., Cuttler, R. and Swinburn, B.A. 2008, Reducing unhealthy weight gain in children through community capacity−building: results of a quasi−experimental intervention program, Be Active Eat Well, International journal of obesity, vol. 32, no. 7, pp. 1060-1067.
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Background: Be Active Eat Well (BAEW) was a multifaceted community capacity-building program promoting healthy eating and physical activity for children (aged 4–12 years) in the Australian town of Colac. Objective: To evaluate the effects of BAEW on reducing children's unhealthy weight gain. Methods: BAEW had a quasi-experimental, longitudinal design with anthropometric and demographic data collected on Colac children in four preschools and six primary schools at baseline (2003, n=1001, response rate: 58%) and follow-up (2006, n=839, follow-up rate: 84%). The comparison sample was a stratified random selection of preschools (n=4) and primary schools (n=12) from the rest of the Barwon South Western region of Victoria, with baseline assessment in 2003–2004 (n=1183, response rate: 44%) and follow-up in 2006 (n=979, follow-up rate: 83%). Results: Colac children had significantly lower increases in body weight (mean: -0.92 kg, 95% CI: -1.74 to -0.11), waist (-3.14 cm, -5.07 to -1.22), waist/height (-0.02, -0.03 to -0.004), and body mass index z-score (-0.11, -0.21 to -0.01) than comparison children, adjusted for baseline variable, age, height, gender, duration between measurements and clustering by school. In Colac, the anthropometric changes were not related to four indicators of socioeconomic status (SES), whereas in the comparison group 19/20 such analyses showed significantly greater gains in anthropometry in children from lower SES families. Changes in underweight and attempted weight loss were no different between the groups. Conclusions: Building community capacity to promote healthy eating and physical activity appears to be a safe and effective way to reduce unhealthy weight gain in children without increasing health inequalities.
Field of Research
111799 Public Health and Health Services not elsewhere classified
Socio Economic Objective
970111 Expanding Knowledge in the Medical and Health Sciences
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