BACKGROUND: Effective lifestyle interventions are needed to prevent noncommunicable diseases in low- and middle-income countries. We analyzed the effects of a school-based health promotion intervention on physical fitness after 28 months and explored if the effect varied with important school characteristics. We also assessed effects on screen time, physical activity and BMI.
METHODS AND RESULTS: We performed a cluster-randomized pair matched trial in schools in urban Ecuador. The intervention included an individual and environmental component tailored to the local context and resources. Primary outcomes were physical fitness (EUROFIT battery), screen time (questionnaires) and physical activity (accelerometers). Change in BMI was a secondary outcome. A total of 1440 grade 8 and 9 adolescents (intervention: n = 700, 48.6%) and 20 schools (intervention: n = 10, 50%) participated. Data of 1083 adolescents (intervention: n = 550, 50.8%) from 20 schools were analyzed.
CONCLUSIONS: A school-based intervention with an individual and environment component can improve physical fitness and can minimize the decline in physical activity levels from childhood into adolescence in urban Ecuador.
TRIAL REGISTRATION: Clinicaltrials.gov identifier NCT01004367.
|Journal||International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity|
|Publication status||Published - 2014|