INTRODUCTION: Obesity and physical inactivity among school children are among the most challenging health problems in Malaysia. The present study aimed to evaluate the sustained impact of Juara Sihat programme on physical activity level and anthropometric status at 18-month post-intervention.
METHOD: Participants of Juara Sihat (n=55) were followed-up at 18 months after completion of the intervention. Juara Sihat intervention was implemented over 12 weeks and focused on four key components: (i) five one-hour nutrition education classes, (ii) four one-hour physical activity education sessions, (iii) family involvement, and (iv) empowerment of Parents and Teachers Association. Anthropometric variables (body mass index, body fat percentage and waist circumference) were measured and physical activity level was evaluated by using Physical Activity Questionnaire for Children (PAQ-C) at baseline (P0), immediately upon completion of intervention (P1), at three-month post-intervention (P2), and at 18-month postintervention (P3). Analyses of repeated measures analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) with intention-to-treat principle were applied.
RESULTS: Sustained effects were found in BMI-for-age z-score which showed a reduction (P0 2.41±0.84 vs P3 2.27±0.81) and physical activity level which showed positive improvements (P0 2.46±0.62 vs P3 2.87±0.76) at 18 months after intervention was completed. Body fat and waist circumference had increased over the same time period.
CONCLUSION: Overall, this study successfully demonstrated sustained intervention effects of Juara Sihat intervention on BMI-for-age z-score and physical activity, but not on body fat percentage and waist circumference.
* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.