12 month changes in dietary intake of adolescent girls attending schools in low-income communities following the NEAT Girls cluster randomized controlled trial

Appetite. 2014 Feb;73:147-55. doi: 10.1016/j.appet.2013.11.003. Epub 2013 Nov 12.


Poor dietary habits and obesity are more prevalent in lower socio-economic status (SES) communities. The NEAT Girls cluster randomized controlled trial was a school-based obesity prevention program targeting adolescent girls in low SES schools in NSW, Australia. The aim was to evaluate the 12-month impact of key nutrition program messages on dietary intake and food behaviors. Diet was assessed using a validated semi-quantitative food frequency questionnaire (FFQ). Individual foods were categorized into nutrient-dense or energy-dense, nutrient-poor food groups and the percentage contribution to total energy intake calculated. Participants were aged 13.2±0.5years (n=330). There were no statistically significant group-by-time effects for dietary intake or food related behaviors, with 12-month trends suggesting more intervention group girls had improved water intakes (59% consuming⩽three glasses per day to 54% at 12 months vs. 50% to 61% in controls, p=0.052), with a greater proportion consuming < one sweetened beverage per day (24-41% vs. 34-37% in controls, p=0.057). Further research including more intensive nutrition intervention strategies are required to evaluate whether dietary intake in adolescent girls attending schools in low SES communities can be optimized.

Keywords: Adolescent; Diet; Female; Intervention; Obesity prevention.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Diet / standards*
  • Diet Surveys
  • Dietary Sucrose / administration & dosage
  • Drinking*
  • Energy Intake*
  • Exercise
  • Feeding Behavior*
  • Female
  • Health Promotion*
  • Humans
  • New South Wales
  • Nutritive Value
  • Obesity / prevention & control*
  • Poverty*
  • Schools
  • Social Class
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Water


  • Dietary Sucrose
  • Water