Abstract P186: A Randomized Preschool Trial To Promote Cardiovascular Health In Colombia: 18 Month Follow Up.
Introduction: Educational programs for children can increase uptake of healthy lifestyle behaviors. However, the impact of educational programs in preschool-aged children in low- and middle-income countries is not known. We conducted a five month educational intervention in preschool facilities (PF) in Bogota, Colombia, to assess changes in preschooler’s knowledge, attitudes and habits (KAH) towards healthy eating and living an active lifestyle.
Methods: We conducted a cluster, randomized, controlled trial, and randomly assigned 14 PF in Bogota to a five-month educational intervention (7 PF) or to usual curriculum (7 PF). The intervention included classroom activities and use of printed material and videos. A total of 1216 pre-school children, 928 parents, and 120 teachers participated. A structured survey was used to evaluate changes in KAH with a weighted total score (WTS). The primary outcome was change in children's WTS, and the secondary outcomes were change in parents’ and teachers' WTS. The control PF were provided the intervention after the initial evaluation. To assess sustainability, we evaluated both intervention and control groups at 18 months.
Results: At 6 months, children in the intervention group showed 10.9% increase in WTS vs. 5.3% in controls, p<0.001, after adjustment for cluster, sex, age and teachers' educational level. Among parents, the equivalent results were 8.9% and 3.1%, respectively, p< 0.001, and among teachers 9.4% and 2.5%, p=0.06. At the 18-month extended follow-up, both the intervention and control children showed a significant further increase in WTS, p<0.001 (Figure 1). In parents and teachers in the intervened group, there was no significant increase in WTS, p=0.7417, and p=0.1197. In the control group, there was an increase in WTS in teachers but not in parents, p=0.001, and p=0.4239.
Conclusion: A preschool based intervention, aimed at changing KAH related to healthy diet and active lifestyle, is feasible, efficacious and sustainable up to 18 months in very young children in Colombia.
- © 2012 by American Heart Association, Inc.