File(s) under permanent embargo

Outcomes of a group-randomized trial to prevent excess weight gain, reduce screen behaviours and promote physical activity in 10-year-old children : switch-play

journal contribution
posted on 01.04.2008, 00:00 authored by Jo SalmonJo Salmon, Kylie BallKylie Ball, Clare Hume, M Booth, David CrawfordDavid Crawford
Objectives : To evaluate the effectiveness of an intervention to prevent excess weight gain, reduce time spent in screen behaviours, promote participation in and enjoyment of physical activity (PA), and improve fundamental movement skills among children.

Participants : In 2002, 311 children (78% response; 49% boys), average age 10 years 8 months, were recruited from three government schools in low socioeconomic areas of Melbourne, Australia.

Design : Group-randomized controlled trial. Children were randomized by class to one of the four conditions: a behavioural modification group (BM; n=66); a fundamental movement skills group (FMS; n=74); a combined BM/FMS group (BM/FMS; n=93); and a control (usual curriculum) group (n=62). Data were collected at baseline, post intervention, 6- and 12-month follow-up periods.

Results : BMI data were available for 295 children at baseline and 268 at 12-month follow-up. After adjusting for food intake and PA, there was a significant intervention effect from baseline to post intervention on age- and sex-adjusted BMI in the BM/FMS group compared with controls (-1.88 kg m-2, P<0.01), which was maintained at 6- and 12-month follow-up periods (-1.53 kg m-2, P<0.05). Children in the BM/FMS group were less likely than controls to be overweight/obese between baseline and post intervention (adjusted odds ratio (AOR)=0.36, P<0.05); also maintained at 12-month follow-up (AOR=0.38, P<0.05). Compared with controls, FMS group children recorded higher levels and greater enjoyment of PA; and BM children recorded higher levels of PA and TV viewing across all four time points. Gender moderated the intervention effects for participation in and enjoyment of PA, and fundamental movement skills.

Conclusion :
This programme represents a promising approach to preventing excess weight gain and promoting participation in and enjoyment of PA. Examination of the mediators of this intervention and further tailoring of the programme to suit both genders is required.



International journal of obesity






601 - 612


Nature Publishing Group


London, England







Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2008, Nature Publishing Group