Effects of a low threshold health promotion intervention on the BMI in pre-school children under consideration of parental participation.

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Background & aims
Physical inactivity and high energy intake contribute to the growing prevalence of overweight and obesity in pre-school children. Effective preventive interventions are warranted. In the present study the effect of a low threshold intervention on anthropometry and motor abilities of pre-school children was tested.

A total of 1050 children from 27 kindergartens (16 intervention (n = 688) and 11 control kindergartens (n = 362)) were tested twice at a mean interval of five months (intervention group) respectively six months (control group). BMI and motor abilities were assessed. A standardised information meeting for parents and educators concerning test results, major evidence based key guidelines of a healthy lifestyle and its importance for the development of children was the central point of the intervention. The influence of parental participation was tested within a subgroup analysis.

Average BMI increased in the control group (0.1 ± 0.6 kg/m2) and decreased in the intervention group (−0.1 ± 0.6 kg/m2) (p < 0.001). Increase in the control group occurred in boys and girls. Decrease in the intervention group occurred only in boys, while the girls’ BMI remained stable. At the information meeting on average 60% of the children were represented by at least one parent. BMI decreased significantly more in kindergartens where >60% of the children were represented (−0.19 ± 0.6 kg/m2), than in kindergartens where <60% were represented (−0.05 ± 0.6 kg/m2) (p = 0.038). The intervention had inconsistent effects on motor skills.

A low threshold intervention in kindergartens might lead to a reduction of the boys’ and a stabilisation of the girls’ BMI. The integration of the parents seems to increase the effect.
Translated title of the contributionAuswirkungen einer niedrigschwelligen Intervention zur Gesundheitsförderung auf den BMI bei Vorschulkindern unter Berücksichtigung von elterlicher Teilnahme
Original languageEnglish
Journale-SPEN, the European e-Journal of Clinical Nutrition and Metabolism
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)125-131
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - 05.2010

ID: 31268

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