Action Schools! BC: a school-based physical activity intervention designed to decrease cardiovascular disease risk factors in children.
ABSTRACT Our primary objective was to determine whether a novel 'active school' model--Action Schools! BC--improved the cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk profile in elementary-school children. Our secondary objective was to determine the percentage of children with elevated CVD risk factors.
We undertook a cluster-randomized controlled school-based trial with 8 elementary schools across 1 school year, in British Columbia, Canada, beginning in 2003. Boys and girls (n=268, age 9-11 years) were randomly assigned (by school) to usual practice (UP, 2 schools) or intervention (INT, 6 schools) groups. We assessed change between groups in cardiovascular fitness (20-m Shuttle Run), blood pressure (BP), and body mass index (BMI, wt/ht(2)). We evaluated total cholesterol (TC), total:high-density cholesterol (TC:HDL-C), low-density lipoprotein, apolipoprotein B, C-reactive protein and fibrinogen on a subset of volunteers (n=77).
INT children had a 20% greater increase in fitness and a 5.7% smaller increase in BP compared with children attending UP schools (P<0.05). Forty five percent of children had at least one elevated risk factor (fitness, BP or BMI) at baseline. There were no significant differences between groups for change in BMI or in any of the blood variables.
Action Schools! BC was an effective school-based physical activity model for improving the CVD risk profile of elementary-school children. Our multi-component intervention exposed children to fitness enhancing physical activity. It may be important for education stakeholders to adequately resource the delivery of the active school models if cardiovascular health benefits are to be achieved on a population basis.
Article: The impact of Action Schools! BC on the health of Aboriginal children and youth living in rural and remote communities in British Columbia.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: The aim of the study was to determine the short-term impact of a 7-month whole-school physical activity and healthy eating intervention (Action Schools! BC) over the 2007-2008 school year for children and youth in 3 remote First Nations villages in northwestern British Columbia. A pre-experimental pre/post design was conducted with 148 children and youth (77 males, 71 females; age 12.5±2.2 yrs). We evaluated changes in obesity (body mass index [wt/ht(2)] and waist circumference z-scores: zBMI and zWC), aerobic fitness (20-m shuttle run), physical activity (PA; physical activity questionnaire and accelerometry), healthy eating (dietary recall) and cardiovascular risk (CV risk). zBMI remained unchanged while zWC increased from 0.46±1.07 to 0.57±1.04 (p<0.05). No change was detected in PA or CV risk but aerobic fitness increased by 22% (25.4±15.8 to 30.9±20.0 laps; p<0.01). There was an increase in the variety of vegetables consumed (1.10±1.18 to 1.45±1.24; p<0.05) but otherwise no dietary changes were detected. While no changes were seen in PA or overall CV risk, zWC increased, zBMI remained stable and aerobic fitness improved during a 7-month intervention.International journal of circumpolar health. 01/2012; 71:17999.
Article: Rationale and study protocol for the supporting children's outcomes using rewards, exercise and skills (SCORES) group randomized controlled trial:A physical activity and fundamental movement skills intervention for primary schools in low-income communities.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: At least one third of Australian children are insufficiently active to accrue health benefits and physical activity (PA) levels are consistently lower among youth of low socio-economic position. PA levels decline dramatically during adolescence and evidence suggests that competency in a range of fundamental movement skills (FMS) may serve as a protective factor against this trend. METHODS: The Supporting Children's Outcomes Using Rewards Exercise and Skills (SCORES) intervention is a multi-component PA and FMS intervention for primary schools in low-income communities, which will be evaluated using a group randomized controlled trial. The socio-ecological model provided a framework for the 12-month intervention, which includes the following components: teacher professional learning, student leadership workshops (including leadership accreditation and rewards, e.g., stickers, water bottles), PA policy review, equipment packs, parental engagement via newsletters, FMS homework and a parent evening, and community partnerships with local sporting organizations. Outcomes will be assessed at baseline, 6- and 12-months. The primary outcomes are PA (accelerometers), FMS (Test of Gross Motor Development II) and cardiorespiratory fitness (multi-stage fitness test). Secondary outcomes include body mass index [using weight (kg)/height (m2)], perceived competence, physical self-esteem, and resilience. Individual and environmental mediators of behavior change (e.g. social support and enjoyment) will also be assessed. The System for Observing Fitness Instruction Time will be used to assess the impact of the intervention on PA within physical education lessons. Statistical analyses will follow intention-to-treat principles and hypothesized mediators of PA behavior change will be explored. DISCUSSION: SCORES is an innovative primary school-based PA and FMS intervention designed to support students attending schools in low-income communities to be more skilled and active. The findings from the study may be used to guide teacher pre-service education, professional learning and school policy in primary schools. Trial registration: Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry No: ACTRN12611001080910.BMC Public Health 06/2012; 12(1):427. · 2.00 Impact Factor
Article: Cardiovascular disease risk in healthy children and its association with body mass index: systematic review and meta-analysis.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: To describe the association and its magnitude between body mass index category, sex, and cardiovascular disease risk parameters in school aged children in highly developed countries. Systematic review and meta-analysis. Quality of included studies assessed by an adapted version of the Cochrane Collaboration's risk of bias assessment tool. Results of included studies in meta-analysis were pooled and analysed by Review Manager version 5.1. Embase, PubMed, EBSCOHost's cumulative index to nursing and allied health literature, and the Web of Science databases for papers published between January 2000 and December 2011. Healthy children aged 5 to 15 in highly developed countries enrolled in studies done after 1990 and using prospective or retrospective cohort, cross sectional, case-control, or randomised clinical trial designs in school, outpatient, or community settings. Included studies had to report an objective measure of weight and at least one prespecified risk parameter for cardiovascular disease. We included 63 studies of 49 220 children. Studies reported a worsening of risk parameters for cardiovascular disease in overweight and obese participants. Compared with normal weight children, systolic blood pressure was higher by 4.54 mm Hg (99% confidence interval 2.44 to 6.64; n=12 169, eight studies) in overweight children, and by 7.49 mm Hg (3.36 to 11.62; n=8074, 15 studies) in obese children. We found similar associations between groups in diastolic and 24 h ambulatory systolic blood pressure. Obesity adversely affected concentrations of all blood lipids; total cholesterol and triglycerides were 0.15 mmol/L (0.04 to 0.25, n=5072) and 0.26 mmol/L (0.13 to 0.39, n=5138) higher in obese children, respectively. Fasting insulin and insulin resistance were significantly higher in obese participants but not in overweight participants. Obese children had a significant increase in left ventricular mass of 19.12 g (12.66 to 25.59, n=223), compared with normal weight children. Having a body mass index outside the normal range significantly worsens risk parameters for cardiovascular disease in school aged children. This effect, already substantial in overweight children, increases in obesity and could be larger than previously thought. There is a need to establish whether acceptable parameter cut-off levels not considering weight are a valid measure of risk in modern children and whether methods used in their study and reporting should be standardised.BMJ (Clinical research ed.). 01/2012; 345:e4759.