Table of Contents
ISRN Public Health
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 513183, 8 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2013/513183
Clinical Study

Effects of a Teacher-Centred, School-Based Intervention Program on Health Behavior and Cardiovascular Disease Risk in Elementary School Children

1Division of Sport and Rehabilitation Medicine, Ulm University Medical Center, Frauensteige 6, 89075 Ulm, Germany
2Institute for Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, University of Regensburg, 93053 Regensburg, Germany

Received 18 June 2013; Accepted 2 August 2013

Academic Editors: W. B. Hansen, T. Morken, P. J. Naylor, and S. M. Pezzotto

Copyright © 2013 Clemens Drenowatz 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.

Abstract

The increasing prevalence of overweight and obese children along with accompanying comorbidities has prompted an early acknowledgement of a healthy lifestyle. The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of a teacher-centered, school-based intervention on cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk and health behavior in elementary school children. 935 first- and second-grade children in southwest Germany provided valid data at baseline and follow-up. Trained technicians measured height and weight along with blood pressure, cholesterol, and intra-abdominal fat to determine CVD risk. Parent questionnaires were used to assess children’s health behavior. Within one year CVD risk declined in the intervention group, particularly due to an attenuation of the age-related increase in mean arterial pressure. The age-related decline in habitual sports participation was attenuated, and children in the intervention groups displayed higher odds of playing outside. Further, the consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages declined in the intervention group, and TV time remained stable, while it increased in the control group. These results indicate that a teacher-centered intervention positively affects health behavior and CVD risk. The incorporation of the intervention by the classroom-teacher should allow for a sustainable participation, which may result in more pronounced effects over time.