International Journal of Public Health

, Volume 59, Issue 1, pp 43–50

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

  • Tahna Pettman
  • Anthea Magarey
  • Nadia Mastersson
  • Annabelle Wilson
  • James Dollman
Original Article

DOI: 10.1007/s00038-013-0455-4

Cite this article as:
Pettman, T., Magarey, A., Mastersson, N. et al. Int J Public Health (2014) 59: 43. doi:10.1007/s00038-013-0455-4



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.


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.


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, χ2 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).


These findings suggest that the ewba community intervention had a moderate impact, showing modest improvements in weight status at 3-year follow-up.



Copyright information

© Swiss School of Public Health 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tahna Pettman
    • 1
  • Anthea Magarey
    • 2
  • Nadia Mastersson
    • 3
  • Annabelle Wilson
    • 5
  • James Dollman
    • 4
  1. 1.Jack Brockhoff Child Health and Wellbeing Program, McCaughey VicHealth Centre for Community WellbeingThe University of MelbourneMelbourneAustralia
  2. 2.Nutrition and DieteticsFlinders UniversityAdelaideAustralia
  3. 3.Health Promotion Branch, SA Health, Government of South AustraliaAdelaideAustralia
  4. 4.Exercise for Health and Human Performance, University of South AustraliaAdelaideAustralia
  5. 5.Nutrition and Dietetics, and Discipline of Public HealthFlinders UniversityAdelaideAustralia