A School-based Health Program Focused on Treating and Preventing Obesity
Objective: We aimed to develop a program to treat and prevent obesity in schoolchildren, focused on improvements in physical fitness – both cardiorespiratory and musculoskeletal fitness. Methods: We assessed the effects of a school-based program on cardiorespiratory (VO2MAX) and musculoskeletal (Vertical Jump-VJ; Standing Long Jump-SLJ, and Sit-up abdominals-ABS) fitness, and body composition (Body Mass Index-BMI and Waist Circumference-WC). The program was evaluated for 12 weeks, and participants were Mexican children aged from 8 to 12 years attending 4 urban schools. We performed correlations and linear models on baseline data, and non-parametric tests for pairwise comparisons between baseline and after-program measurements. Results: A total of 321 children participated in our study (girls; N = 170, boys; N = 151). At baseline, BMI showed negative effects on physical fitness variables; VO2MAX, VJ and SLJ. After program, children significantly improved WC and all cardiorespiratory and musculoskeletal fitness variables. Boys who met standards of VO2MAX increased its value from 57% to 96% after the program. Conclusions: Mexican children showed important improvements in physical fitness upon completion of the program. This study supports setting up integral school-based programs as a strategy for obesity prevention and treatment.
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Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: May 1, 2020
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