1 School of Public Health, University of São Paulo, Brasil; 2 School of Arts, Sciences and Humanities, University of São Paulo, Brasil
Background: The negative consequences of unhealthy weight gain and the high likelihood of pediatric obesity tracking into adulthood highlight the importance of targeting youth who are ‘at risk’ of obesity. Objective: To examine the differences in nutritional status between groups at baseline and post-intervention. Methods: The Healthy Habits, Healthy Girls-Brazil (H3G-Brazil) was a 6-month randomized controlled trial based on the Social Cognitive Theory. Participated 253 [16.05, (SE 0.05) years] adolescent girls attending 10 public schools in São Paulo, Brazil (i.e., 5 intervention and control groups). Anthropometric measures were obtained by research assistants (i.e., weight, height and waist circumference). Body mass index were calculated and then categorized according to WHO reference. Chi-square and independent t-test were used with alpha level set at p≤0.05. The analyses followed intention to treat principles. Results: There were post-intervention differences between intervention and control groups for weight (59.85-60.55kg vs. 55.29- 56.41kg; p=0.008), waist circumference (75.93-75.81kg vs. 71.46- 72.43kg; p=0.013) and body mass index (22.81-22.98kg/m2 vs. 21.48-21.77kg/m2; p=0.018). There was significant difference in nutritional status favouring the intervention girls (x2=8.932; p=0.03). Conclusion: Girls attending H3G-Brazil improved their weight and nutritional status. “Healthy Habits, Healthy Girls-Brazil” might serve as framework for others intervention strategies in Brazil and low and middle-income countries.