Improving weight status in childhood: results from the eat well be active community programs

Tahna Pettman, Anthea Magarey, Nadia Mastersson, Annabelle Wilson, James Dollman

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    Objectives: The eat well be active Community Programs (ewba) aimed to prevent obesity among children aged 0-18 years in two Australian communities from 2006 to 2010. Methods: ewba was a multi-strategy intervention in children's settings. The evaluation was quasi-experimental, including a before and after survey with intervention (INT) and non-randomised comparison (COMP) communities. Outcome measures included BMI-z score (zBMI) and overweight/obesity prevalence in children aged 4-5 years; and zBMI, waist circumference (WC) z-score and overweight/obesity prevalence in children aged10-12 years. Results: After 3 years, among the 4-5 years old, mean zBMI was significantly lower in both INT (-0.20, p < 0.05) and COMP (-0.15, p < 0.05), however, changes were not significantly different between INT and COMP. There was a larger reduction in overweight/obesity prevalence in INT (-6.3 %) compared to COMP (-3.7 %) (p < 0.05, χ 2 test). In the 10-12 years old, mean zBMI did not change significantly in INT or COMP. There was a significant reduction in WC z-score in INT (-0.17, p < 0.05) but not in COMP (-0.10, p = NS), although not significantly different between INT and COMP (p = 0.092). Conclusions: These findings suggest that the ewba community intervention had a moderate impact, showing modest improvements in weight status at 3-year follow-up.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)43-50
    Number of pages8
    JournalInternational Journal of Public Health
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - Feb 2014


    • Anthropometry
    • Children
    • Community
    • Obesity
    • Overweight
    • Prevention

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