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The evaluation of a school-based physical activity programme aimed at reducing childhood obesity and imrpoving CVD risk profile.

Gallagher, Alison and Bonham, Maxine P. (2009) The evaluation of a school-based physical activity programme aimed at reducing childhood obesity and imrpoving CVD risk profile. In: Northern Ireland Chest Heart and Stroke Fifth Scientific Research Conference, Belfast, Northern ireland. UNSPECIFIED. [Conference contribution]

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School is an ideal setting to implement programmes aimed at influencing health behaviours and thereby modulate health outcomes in later life. However, to date, school-based programmes have suffered because of their limited duration, lack of multidimensional approach and/or proper evaluation. The ‘Fit Futures in School Programme’, developed by Derry City Council, is targeted at P5 children attending schools located in areas of high social deprivation. This study evaluated the impact of the programme on health outcomes (body composition, fitness) and health behaviours of P5 children.A total of 349 children (mean age 9.1yr) participated and were randomly assigned, on a class basis, to control or intervention. The intervention group (n=173) received at least 20-wk (1¼ hr/wk) of the programme. Assessment included anthropometry, cardio-respiratory fitness (multi-shuttle test, MST) and questionnaire data at baseline and post-intervention. A sub-sample of children also completed a four-day food diary and had their physical activity assessed objectively (by accelerometers) at each time-point. High levels of overweight/obese (15.8% boys; 23.6% girls) were observed in the study population. Overtime fitness (number of laps completed during MST) in the intervention group increased to a greater extent than in the control group (mean change of 6.45 versus 1.98 laps, P<0.001) and was associated with increases in physical activity as compared to the control (P<0.009) but no changes in dietary intake over the same recording period. It appears that this relatively short intervention programme can increase the fitness of children and may be positively impacting on health behaviour (i.e. increasing total physical activity). Whether these effects are sustained beyond the intervention period is currently being considered.

Item Type:Conference contribution (Lecture)
Faculties and Schools:Faculty of Life and Health Sciences
Faculty of Life and Health Sciences > School of Biomedical Sciences
Research Institutes and Groups:Biomedical Sciences Research Institute > Nutrition Innovation Centre for Food and Health (NICHE)
Biomedical Sciences Research Institute
ID Code:11609
Deposited By: Professor Alison Gallagher
Deposited On:09 Feb 2010 12:07
Last Modified:09 May 2016 10:59

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