Effects of health promotion projects in preschools on body mass index and motor abilities.

Daniel Klein, Kristin Manz, Nina Ferrari, Heiko Klaus Strüder, Christine Graf

Publication: Contribution to journalJournal articlesResearchpeer-review


AIM: The prevalence of obesity and motor deficits in children is on the rise in western industrialized countries. Due to the negative health related consequences, effective early preventive measures are of urgent need. In the present study the effects of the kindergarten-based low-threshold interventions “Kindergarten Mobile (KiMo)”, “Ball and Pear (BP)” and “Nursery Fit (NF)” were determined.
METHODS: 1.519 children (53.4% male) participated in the study (age: 4.7±0.9 years, height: 108.3±7.9cm, weight: 19.1±3.6kg, BMI: 16.1±1.6kg/m²). The children were divided in the groups KiMo (n=690), BP (n=74), NF-P (n=95), NF-NP (n=289) and CG (n=362). Anthropometric data and motor abilities were assessed at T1 (baseline) and T2 (follow-up after 6 months). The interventions included an information session for parents/educators, where key guidelines for a healthy lifestyle were communicated and individual fitness passes were handed over (KiMo, NF-P, NF-NP), respectively an instructed activity lesson once per week (BP, NF-P).
RESULTS: The results showed a decrease of the BMI in the groups KiMo (-0.1±0.6 kg/m²), NF-P (-0.1±0.7 kg/m²) and NF-NP (-0.2±0.6 kg/m²; each p<0.001 in comparison to the CG) and an increase in the group BP (0.1±0.5 kg/m²; p=0.998 in comparison to the CG). Inconsistent results were shown in all groups regarding motor abilities.
CONCLUSION: To date, no evidence-based recommendations concerning the optimal procedure for health promotion at pre-school age can be concluded. It seems assured, that the entire social environment of children has to be involved in the prevention of overweight and motor deficits, including parents, educators and pediatricians.
Original languageEnglish
JournalThe Journal of sports medicine and physical fitness
Issue number1-2
Pages (from-to)103-112
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 2015


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