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Journal of Obesity
Volume 2014, Article ID 618293, 8 pages
Research Article

School-Based Obesity Prevention Intervention in Chilean Children: Effective in Controlling, but not Reducing Obesity

Institute of Nutrition and Food Technology (INTA), University of Chile, Santiago, Chile

Received 15 November 2013; Revised 28 March 2014; Accepted 29 March 2014; Published 27 April 2014

Academic Editor: Renato Pasquali

Copyright © 2014 Juliana Kain 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.


Objective. To evaluate the effectiveness of a 12-month multicomponent obesity prevention intervention. Setting. 9 elementary schools in Santiago, Chile. Subjects. 6–8 y old low-income children ( ). Design. Randomized controlled study; 5 intervention/4 control schools. We trained teachers to deliver nutrition contents and improve the quality of PE classes. We determined % healthy snacks brought from home, children’s nutrition knowledge, nutritional status, duration of PE classes, and % time in moderate/vigorous activity (MVA). Effectiveness was determined by comparing BMI between intervention and control children using PROCMIXED. Results. % obesity increased in boys from both types of schools and in girls from control schools, while decreasing in girls from intervention schools (all nonsignificant). % class time in MVA declined (24.5–16.2) while remaining unchanged (24.8–23.7%) in classes conducted by untrained and trained teachers, respectively. In boys, BMI declined (1.33–1.24) and increased (1.22–1.35) in intervention and control schools, respectively. In girls, BMI remained unchanged in intervention schools, while increasing significantly in control schools (0.91–1.06, ). Interaction group time was significant for boys ( ) and girls ( ). Conclusions. This intervention was effective in controlling obesity, but not preventing it. Even though impact was small, results showed that when no intervention is implemented, obesity increases.