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School-based intervention for underserved children results in modest obesity rate reductions

School-based intervention for underserved children results in modest obesity rate reductions
June 27, 2017

An intervention aimed at reducing the prevalence of obesity and encouraging healthy behaviors in school-aged children in underserved communities resulted in modest reductions in the rate of obesity and improvements in consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages and water, according to findings from a demonstration project published in Obesity.

Rebecca L. Franckle, ScD, MPH, a postdoctoral fellow in the department of nutrition at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, and colleagues evaluated the effect of an intervention on obesity in childhood in two low-income communities (community 1, n = 40,318; community 2, n = 95,072) from Massachusetts from 2012 to 2014. The Massachusetts Childhood Obesity Research Demonstration Project (MA-CORD) aimed to reduce obesity and encourage healthy behaviors, including replacing nutrient-poor foods with fruits and vegetables, decreasing consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages, increasing physical activity, decreasing screen time and increasing sleep duration in school-aged children. The two low-income communities were compared with matched control communities (n = 84,372). Participants of MA-CORD self-reported on healthy behaviors at baseline and after the intervention period. Participants were in first, fourth and seventh grades.

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