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Title: A systematic review of school based interventions aimed at the promotion of physical activity and/or healthy dietary behaviours in adolescents
Author: Gilmartin, Andrea E.
ISNI:       0000 0004 2725 9944
Awarding Body: University of Aberdeen
Current Institution: University of Aberdeen
Date of Award: 2011
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Low levels of physical activity and unhealthy dietary behaviours have been associated with poor health in adolescents, leading to an increased risk of chronic disease in adulthood. These behaviours are modifiable and since adolescents spend a significant amount of time in school this provides an increasingly popular setting for physical activity and dietary interventions. A systematic review of school-based interventions aimed at changing physical activity and/or dietary behaviours in adolescents was conducted. The aim was to identify successful interventions, identify effective intervention components, behavioural theories and techniques which may have facilitated interventions success and assess reporting quality. Fifteen studies were included in the review; two dietary only, seven physical activity only and six physical activity combined dietary interventions. Diet only interventions were not successful. Interventions aimed at only physical activity behaviours were the most successful, with education combined with environmental adaptations identified as being most effective. Physical activity only interventions aimed specifically at girls were generally successful. Physical activity interventions aimed at both boys and girls tended to be more effective at improving the behaviours of boys only. Interventions aimed at both physical activity and diet showed some evidence of gender differences with boys increasing physical activity behaviours and girls improving dietary behaviours. Studies based on a theory which considered environmental influences appeared more effective. No specific behaviour change techniques were identified with studies reporting significant results. The reporting of intervention design/methodology was of moderate quality. The heterogeneity of the studies made it difficult to generalise which interventions were most effective. Education combined with environmental adaptations appeared effective at changing physical activity behaviours in both boys and girls. Further research into dietary interventions is required, especially in boys. The quality of study reporting needs to improve to facilitate the identification of the active components/techniques implemented within interventions.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Teenagers ; Physical activity ; Diet and health