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Title: Design and evaluation of a school-based intervention programme to improve children's eating habits as a contribution to preventing childhood obesity
Author: Scott, Gwenda
Awarding Body: King's College London (University of London)
Current Institution: King's College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2012
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Background: Childhood obesity in the UK is increasing. Possible explanations are changes in dietary patterns and eating habits together with an increase in sedentary lifestyles. There is evidence that multifaceted school-based interventions have some success in reducing childhood obesity. This study aimed to develop and test the feasibility of a school-based intervention programme aimed to improve children’s lifestyle behaviours and eating habits as a contribution to preventing childhood obesity. Methods: Nine primary schools from highly deprived wards in Bexley took part in a baseline study to collect information on obesity, eating and activity patterns and body shape satisfaction of children aged 9-11. The data were used to produce materials to be used in the schools. The intervention programme involved curriculum-based and extra-curricular activities and was used with 350 children in 4 schools over a 6 month period, with 5 others as controls. A repeat of the baseline study at the end of the intervention period in all schools investigated the effect of the intervention on the eating patterns of children. A further study was undertaken after 1 year to look at the longer term effect of the intervention. Results: Nearly a third of those measured were either overweight or obese. Children exhibited signs of body shape dissatisfaction. About a third of boys and over 40% of girls indicated they wanted to be thinner than their perceived shape. Following the intervention, changes in eating habits found in the intervention schools were increased vegetable intake at the evening meal and reduced consumption of snacks during the day. Positive changes in eating patterns were also seen in all schools between surveys. The intervention did not appear to have any impact on the body shape dissatisfaction of children. Conclusion: The intervention had some impact on improving vegetable intakes and consumption of healthier snacks in children.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available