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BioMed Research International
Volume 2016, Article ID 4902714, 15 pages
Review Article

A Systematised Review of Primary School Whole Class Child Obesity Interventions: Effectiveness, Characteristics, and Strategies

1Department of Wellness, Health Promotion and Injury Prevention, School of Health Sciences, Oakland University, 2200 N. Squirrel Road, Rochester, MI 48309-4452, USA
2Institute for Clinical Exercise & Health Science, University of the West of Scotland, Almada Street, Hamilton ML3 0JB, UK
3Department of Exercise Physiology & Athletic Training, Midwestern State University, Wichita Falls, TX 76308, USA
4Translational Physiology Laboratory and Post Graduate Program in Physical Education and Aging Science, São Judas Tadeu University (USJT), 05503-001 São Paulo, SP, Brazil
5Kilgore Academy, 816 Keli Court, Azle, TX 76020, USA

Received 1 April 2016; Accepted 26 June 2016

Academic Editor: Alberto Raggi

Copyright © 2016 Elise C. Brown et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background. A systematised review was conducted to examine the effectiveness of school-based interventions that focus on changing dietary intake and physical activity levels to reduce childhood obesity. Methods. Multiple databases were searched for randomised and nonrandomised interventions from 2007 to 2016 in full-time elementary schools, which were delivered to the whole class, included dietary and physical activity components, involved both sexes, were written in English, and used body mass index (BMI) as an outcome. Results. The database search produced 8,866 titles from which 78 were deemed relevant and assessed for inclusion resulting in 15 studies meeting all inclusion criteria. From these 15 studies, 9 yielded a reduction or stabilisation in BMI or BMI -score in the entire intervention group and/or subgroups. Programmes lasting between 6 and 12 months that involve multiple environmental, educational, and physical strategies appear to be most likely to result in BMI or BMI -score improvement. Moderators most likely influencing an improvement in BMI included increased physical activity, decreased sugar sweetened beverages intake, and increased fruit intake. Conclusions. School-based interventions may be an effective means for child obesity prevention. The identification of consistent elements used in school-based interventions that have demonstrated effectiveness may aid in preventing child obesity.