New Intervention Helps Prevent Obesity in Urban Chinese Children

by Colleen Fleiss on  November 28, 2019 at 6:13 AM Obesity News
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CHIRPY DRAGON, a school- and family-based program was found to be an effective intervention for preventing obesity in children in urban China, stated study published in the open-access journal PLOS Medicine by Bai Li of the University of Bristol, Peymane Adab of the University of Birmingham , and Wei Jia Liu of the Guangzhou Centre of Disease Control and Prevention, and colleagues.
New Intervention Helps Prevent Obesity in Urban Chinese Children
New Intervention Helps Prevent Obesity in Urban Chinese Children

In low- and middle-income countries where childhood obesity is increasing rapidly, there is a lack of rigorous development and evaluation of prevention interventions. Previous childhood obesity prevention trials conducted in China have not provided robust, high-quality evidence of effective interventions. Without effective prevention programs, China is estimated to have 50 million overweight/obese children by 2030.

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In the new study, the researchers developed CHIRPY DRAGON (CHInese pRimary school children PhYsical activity and DietaRy behAviour chanGes InterventiON), with the goal of preventing obesity in urban, primary school-aged children in China. Participants in the randomized controlled trial included 1,461 six-year-old children from 40 primary schools in Guangzhou, China.

One group of schools received a package of activities designed to increase healthy eating and physical activity (i.e., the CHIRPY DRAGON program) over 12 months and the other group of schools continued with their usual activities.

Children, particularly girls and those who were overweight or obese at baseline, in the group of schools receiving the program had a lower body-mass index at the end of the 12-month period, compared with children in the schools not receiving the program.

In the intervention group, significant beneficial effects were also observed for the consumption of fruits and vegetables, sugar-sweetened beverages and unhealthy snacks, in addition to sedentary behavior and physical activity. The program was also good value for money (£1,760 per quality-adjusted life-years).

It is not yet determined whether this intervention program can be successfully transferred to other contexts, but it may be effective in other locations that share similar characteristics to urban China.

Source: Eurekalert

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