Objective: To evaluate the impact of a 12-month multicomponent school-based obesity prevention program, Nutrition and Enjoyable Activity for Teen Girls among adolescent girls. Design: Group randomized controlled trial with 12-month follow-up. Setting: Twelve secondary schools in low-income communities in the Hunter and Central Coast regions of New South Wales, Australia. Participants: Three hundred fifty-seven adolescent girls aged 12 to 14 years. Intervention: A multicomponent school-based intervention program tailored for adolescent girls. The intervention was based on social cognitive theory and included teacher professional development, enhanced school sport sessions, interactive seminars, nutrition workshops, lunch-time physical activity sessions, handbooks and pedometers for self-monitoring, parent newsletters, and text messaging for social support. Main Outcome Measures: Body mass index (BMI, calculated as weight in kilograms divided by height in meters squared), BMI z score, body fat percentage, physical activity, screen time, dietary intake, and self-esteem. Results: After 12 months, changes in BMI (adjusted mean difference, −0.19;95%CI, −0.70 to 0.33),BMIz score (mean,−0.08; 95% CI, −0.20 to 0.04), and body fat percentage (mean, −1.09; 95% CI, −2.88 to 0.70) were in favor of the intervention, but they were not statistically different from those in the control group. Changes in screen time were statistically significant (mean, −30.67 min/d;95%CI, −62.43 to −1.06), but there were no group by time effects for physical activity, dietary behavior, or self-esteem. Conclusions: A school-based intervention tailored for adolescent girls from schools located in low-income communities did not significantly reduce BMI gain. However, changes in body composition were of a magnitude similar to previous studies and may be associated with clinically important health outcomes.
Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine Vol. 166, Issue 9, p. 821-827