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Acta Médica Peruana

On-line version ISSN 1728-5917


PEREZ VILLASANTE, Luis et al. Effectiveness of an educational program focusing in healthy lifestyles for overweight and obesity reduction in Robert M. Smith School, Huaraz, Ancash, Peru. Acta méd. peruana [online]. 2008, vol.25, n.4, pp.204-209. ISSN 1728-5917.

Introduction: The World Health Organization (WHO) currently considers obesity as the most important 21st century epidemics, affecting every population group, and, alarmingly enough, it is affecting boys and girls. There are no official numbers in Peru with respect to this situation, but some studies reported rates of being overweight and obese as high as 10,0% and 5,6%, respectively. Objective: To improve health conditions in overweight/obese students in Barrick-Pierina mining company school, with an educational intervention promoting health lifestyles, promoting the ingestion of a balanced diet and increased physical activity. At the end, changes were measured using the body mass index (BMI), and they were compared with the expected percentiles. Material and method: Design: A single sample intervention. The dependent variable (BMI) was longitudinally followed up between May 2004 and April 2005. Location: An urban school belonging to Barrick-Pierina mining company. Participants: 121 school children (65 girls, 56 boys) 6 to 16 years old (mean age: 9,6 years). Intervention: The Healthy Lifestyles Program used five activities, based on the self-implementation guidelines from he CDC: 10 lectures on energy balance, 2 workshops for parents about the elaboration of healthy lunch-packs, one salad party using plants from the school farm and 10 gymnastics sessions. The strategy was designed by a multidisciplinary team and it was developed by a team including 19 teachers from the school. Indicator: average BMI. Results: The average baseline percentile of the BMI was 64,8 (SD= 23,4), and it descended to 58,5 (SD= 25,4), with a statistically significant difference (p<0.0001). Conclusions: The Healthy Lifestyle Program was successfully implemented, and using five low-cost activities, was able to have a positive influence on BMI in a group of schoolchildren.

Keywords : Obesity; prevention; school-based intervention.

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