Outcome Evaluation on Impact of the Nutrition Intervention among Adolescents: A Feasibility, Randomised Control Study from Myheart Beat (Malaysian Health and Adolescents Longitudinal Research Team-Behavioural Epidemiology and Trial)

Nutrients. 2022 Jun 30;14(13):2733. doi: 10.3390/nu14132733.


A healthy eating environment in the school setting is crucial to nurture the healthy eating pattern for youth. Thus, it helps to combat the obesity issue. However, the impact of healthy school environment on healthy eating habits among Asian adolescents is scarce and less clear. This clustered randomised-control study has two objectives. The first objective was to evaluate the changes in adolescents' dietary intake after the interventions for all arms (control; healthy cooking training only; subsidization with healthy cooking training). The second objective was to compare the effect of subsidization with healthy cooking training and healthy cooking training only with the control arm on adolescents' dietary intakes. This study consisted of 340 secondary school students aged 14 years in rural and urban Malaysia. A total of two arms of intervention and one arm of control were included. Intervention one focused on healthy cooking preparation for the canteen and convenience shop operators. Intervention two included subsidization for fruits and vegetables with a healthy cooking preparation training for the canteen and suggestions on providing healthy options to the convenience shop operators. The outcome measured was changes to dietary intake. It was measured using a three-day dietary history pre- and post-intervention. A paired-t test was used to evaluate the outcome of intervention programmes on dietary changes for all arms (control, intervention one and two). An ANCOVA test was used to investigate the effect of providing subsidization and healthy cooking preparation training to the canteen and convenience shop operators on adolescents' dietary intakes as compared to the control arm. Overall, the reduction in energy and carbohydrates for all arms were observed. Interestingly, fat intake was significantly increased after the four-week intervention programme under healthy cooking intervention but not in the food subsidization group. When comparing between control, healthy cooking training only and subsidization with the healthy cooking training arm, there was no significant changes between arms. A robust intervention to include subsidization of healthy foods for intervention programmes at schools in a larger scale study is needed to confirm this finding.

Keywords: adolescents; dietary intake; feasibility study; intervention; randomised control trial.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Diet, Healthy*
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Feeding Behavior
  • Humans
  • Schools
  • Vegetables*