The efficacy of school-based interventions in preventing adolescent obesity in Australia

Buru, Kakale, Emeto, Theophilus I., Malau-Aduli, Aduli E.O., and Malau-Aduli, Bunmi S. (2020) The efficacy of school-based interventions in preventing adolescent obesity in Australia. Healthcare, 8 (4). 514.

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Current trends suggest that adolescent obesity is an on-going and recurrent decimal that is still on the rise in Australia and the social burden associated with it can significantly cause low self-esteem and lack of confidence in personal body image in adulthood. Nonetheless, evidence-based prevention programs are not widely implemented in schools, even though they are commonplace for easy access to adolescents. The primary objective of this systematic review was to assess the scope and efficacy of adolescent obesity intervention strategies in Australian schools, to guide future research. Seven electronic databases were searched for peer-reviewed school-based intervention articles written in the English language and targeting 12–18-year-old adolescents. Intervention characteristics were extracted, and quality, efficacy and outcome measures were assessed utilizing thirteen studies that met the inclusion criteria for this review. Most of the Australian adolescent obesity research emanated from the State of New South Wales and none were nationwide. Five studies successfully met all the requirements in all measured outcomes, four met at least one measured outcome and the remaining four were unsuccessful. Despite the weak evidence of intervention efficacy for most of the reviewed studies, school-based interventions with multi-component combinations of physical activity, nutrition and alignment to a theory yielded promising results. Our findings point to the need for future research to assess the perceptions of school stakeholders in relation to the barriers and enablers to establishing school-based prevention and intervention programs for adolescents.

Item ID: 65152
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2227-9032
Keywords: adolescent obesity; Australian school-based interventions
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Copyright Information: © 2020 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open accessarticle distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution(CC BY) license (
Date Deposited: 25 Nov 2020 23:52
FoR Codes: 46 INFORMATION AND COMPUTING SCIENCES > 4606 Distributed computing and systems software > 460606 Energy-efficient computing @ 50%
42 HEALTH SCIENCES > 4206 Public health > 420601 Community child health @ 40%
39 EDUCATION > 3903 Education systems > 390306 Secondary education @ 10%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920411 Nutrition @ 50%
92 HEALTH > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920408 Health Status (e.g. Indicators of Well-Being) @ 50%
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