Introduction: Interventions aimed at the formation of healthy lifestyles at an early age could be an effective tool to reduce obesity levels in schoolchildren.
Objective: To evaluate the effect of an intervention in diet and physical activity (PA) in reducing obesity in schoolchildren.
Methods: A total of 312 schoolchildren participated in this intervention, which was applied for five months. Workshops were developed for the family and children with educational material based on Chilean food guides, together with 45 minutes of PA daily. Nutritional status was assessed with the International Obesity Task Force. Changes in eating habits and physical activity were evaluated by applying questionnaires.
Results: The Body Mass Index (BMI) decreased significantly after the intervention (-0,2 kg.m-2); When analyzing these results by sex, only men showed a significant reduction (-0,3 kg.m-2). Similar results were observed for waist circumference in men (-0.4 cm). However, when analyzing the effect of the intervention in those students with pre-intervention overweight or obesity, significant changes in BMI were observed, which were associated with changes in diet and levels of physical activity.
Conclusions: Multidisciplinary interventions applied to schoolchildren in the first cycle of basic education are effective in reducing BMI levels and increasing physical activity levels and the quality of food in overweight or obese schoolchildren.
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