Limited data regarding the effects of school-based obesity prevention programs focusing on the changes in obesity-related knowledge and behaviors in China are available. The objective of this paper was to evaluate the effects of a school-based comprehensive lifestyle intervention among Chinese kids against obesity (CLICK-Obesity) in primary schools in Nanjing.
We designed a cluster randomized controlled trial in eight randomly selected urban primary schools among 4th graders between May 2011 to April 2012 in Jianye, an urban district of Nanjing. Each school was randomly assigned to either the intervention or control group (four schools in each group). Mixed regression models and generalized estimating equations (GEE) were used to adjust for individual-level covariates under cluster randomization.
In this study, 1178 students (96.2%; 665 boys and 513 girls, 544 in control and 634 in intervention) participated in the baseline survey with mean age 10.2 ± 0.5 years. At the end of one-year intervention, 1125 students (91.8%; 628 boys and 497 girls, 513 in control and 612 in intervention) were reassessed. Notably, we found that the intervention group improved the knowledge and awareness of obesity-related risk factors, presented a lower increase of consumption of red/white meat (with a mean difference of −180.9 g/week, 95% CI: −350.6 to −11.2, p = 0.040), a larger increase in the time spent playing ball (with a mean difference of 24.2 min/week, 95% CI: −5.3 to 53.7, p = 0.090), and a significant reduction in screen time (with a mean difference of −71.0 min/week, 95% CI: −125.3 to −16.6, p = 0.020) compared to the control group after cluster (school) adjustment.
The school-based integrated intervention was successful to modify unhealthy lifestyle behaviors and had a potential effect on childhood obesity prevention in urban China. However, the long-term effects and cost-effectiveness need to be evaluated in through further study.
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No data relevant to the study are included in the article or uploaded as supplementary information. Data of the survey are not public, aiming to preserve anonymity of information from participants.
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The authors thank the children and their parents/guardians for their participation and the schools for their cooperation, as well as the study investigators and staff.
This research work was funded by the Nanjing Municipal Science and Technique Foundation (200901088) and Medical Science and Technique Development Foundation (2009-ZKX09034). The funder had no role in the decision to collect data, data analysis, or reporting of the results.
Competing of interest
The authors declare that they have no competing interest.
Ethics approval and consent to participate
The study was approved by the academic and ethical committee of Nanjing Municipal Center for Disease Control and Prevention (Nanjing CDC). Written informed consent from all participants was obtained.
Written informed consent regarding baseline and follow-up surveys as well as participation in the lifestyle intervention were obtained from parents/guardians and the schools prior to the baseline survey.
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Zhou, HR., Wang, WW., Yang, HF. et al. The effects of a one year school-based comprehensive lifestyle intervention among Chinese kids against obesity (CLICK-obesity) in Nanjing, China. J Public Health (Berl.) (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10389-021-01646-3
- School-based intervention
- Obesity prevention