Childhood obesity: prevention and strategies of intervention. A systematic review of school-based interventions in primary schools

J Endocrinol Invest. 2014 Dec;37(12):1155-64. doi: 10.1007/s40618-014-0153-y. Epub 2014 Sep 9.


Purpose: Two crucial aspects of obesity prevention are early childhood and school-based interventions. The main purpose of this systematic review wass to evaluate the efficacy and the feasibility of school-based interventions performed in primary schools.

Methods: All pertinent data from the literature have been critically examined and reviewed to evaluate the efficacy and the feasibility of different strategies of interventions. In particular, many studies have been performed in school-aged children.

Results: Data from literature suggest that educational interventions toward healthy eating habits and physical activity at school could be a key strategy in the prevention of obesity, because it has been shown that is difficult to treat obesity in adults through changes in the lifestyle rather than during childhood. Recent advances in technology, especially web-based interventions, have been used to provide a specific content addressing healthy lifestyle with regard diet and exercise. These data suggest the opportunity to use web-interactive programs as a new challenging technique of communication in order to promote healthy behaviors.

Conclusions: The early detection and treatment of obesity in children may be the best approach to prevent future increases in morbidity, as well as healthcare costs that will likely occur as overweight and obese children age.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Early Medical Intervention / methods*
  • Exercise / physiology
  • Fast Foods / adverse effects
  • Feeding Behavior
  • Humans
  • Pediatric Obesity / diagnosis
  • Pediatric Obesity / epidemiology*
  • Pediatric Obesity / prevention & control*
  • Risk Reduction Behavior*
  • School Health Services*
  • Schools*