Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

School scheme unable to boost healthy eating, activity among kids

Date:
May 27, 2014
Source:
BMJ-British Medical Journal
Summary:
A school-based scheme to encourage children to eat healthily and be active has had little effect, conclude researchers. The findings have relevance for researchers, policy makers, public health practitioners, and doctors, and they suggest that more intense interventions may be required. School based interventions have the potential to reach the vast majority of children, and evidence reviews have suggested some beneficial effect. However, the poor quality of many of the previous trials means their effectiveness may be exaggerated.

A school-based scheme to encourage children to eat healthily and be active has had little effect, conclude researchers in a study published on bmj.com today.

The findings have relevance for researchers, policy makers, public health practitioners, and doctors, and they suggest that more intense interventions may be required.

Low levels of physical activity and of fruit and vegetable consumption in childhood are associated with adverse health outcomes. School based interventions have the potential to reach the vast majority of children, and evidence reviews have suggested some beneficial effect. However, the poor quality of many of the previous trials means their effectiveness may be exaggerated.

So a team led by Professor Debbie Lawlor at the University of Bristol decided to investigate the effectiveness of a school based intervention to increase physical activity, reduce sedentary behaviour, and increase fruit and vegetable consumption in children.

The Active for Life Year 5 (AFLY5) intervention took place at 60 primary schools in the south west of England and involved over 2,000 children aged 8-10 years over the study period. The trial was funded by the National Institute for Health Research Public Health Research programme.

The study was designed to overcome many of the limitations of previous trials in this area. For example, the study included a large number of children and used accelerometers to measure activity levels.

The intervention consisted of teacher training, lesson plans and interactive homework activities, and written material for school newsletters and parents. Schools were randomly allocated to either the intervention or control arm (control schools received standard teaching).

The researchers found no evidence that the intervention increased time spent in moderate or vigorous physical activity or reduced time spent in sedentary behaviour when both were assessed using accelerometers. There was also no effect on child reported fruit and vegetable consumption.

Further analysis found, however, that the intervention was effective in reducing child reported time spent in front of a screen at weekends and self reported consumption of snacks and high energy drinks.

Despite being one of the largest trials in this area to date, and taking account of limitations of previous trials, the authors conclude that the AFLY5 intervention "is not effective at increasing levels of physical activity, decreasing sedentary behaviour, and increasing fruit and vegetable consumption in primary school children."

They suggest that a change in these activities "may require more intensive behavioural interventions with children or upstream interventions at the family and societal level, as well as at the school environmental level." Professor Lawlor adds "it is possible that the increased child-efficacy and knowledge that the intervention aims to affect takes some time to embed and affect behaviour. Further follow-up of these children will test that."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by BMJ-British Medical Journal. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. R. R. Kipping, L. D. Howe, R. Jago, R. Campbell, S. Wells, C. R. Chittleborough, J. Mytton, S. M. Noble, T. J. Peters, D. A. Lawlor. Effect of intervention aimed at increasing physical activity, reducing sedentary behaviour, and increasing fruit and vegetable consumption in children: Active for Life Year 5 (AFLY5) school based cluster randomised controlled trial. BMJ, 2014; 348 (may27 4): g3256 DOI: 10.1136/bmj.g3256

Cite This Page:

BMJ-British Medical Journal. "School scheme unable to boost healthy eating, activity among kids." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 May 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140527185353.htm>.
BMJ-British Medical Journal. (2014, May 27). School scheme unable to boost healthy eating, activity among kids. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140527185353.htm
BMJ-British Medical Journal. "School scheme unable to boost healthy eating, activity among kids." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140527185353.htm (accessed August 1, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Friday, August 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

House Republicans Vote to Sue Obama Over Healthcare Law

House Republicans Vote to Sue Obama Over Healthcare Law

Reuters - US Online Video (July 31, 2014) The Republican-led House of Representatives votes to sue President Obama, accusing him of overstepping his executive authority in making changes to the Affordable Care Act. Mana Rabiee reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Despite Health Questions, E-Cigs Are Beneficial: Study

Despite Health Questions, E-Cigs Are Beneficial: Study

Newsy (July 31, 2014) Citing 81 previous studies, new research out of London suggests the benefits of smoking e-cigarettes instead of regular ones outweighs the risks. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida

Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida

AP (July 31, 2014) Sarasota County, Florida health officials have issued a warning against eating raw oysters and exposing open wounds to coastal and inland waters after a dangerous bacteria killed one person and made another sick. (July 31) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 30, 2014) Obamacare-related costs were said to be behind the profit plunge at Wellpoint and Humana, but Wellpoint sees the new exchanges boosting its earnings for the full year. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins