Are interventions intended to prevent obesity in children effective?

From: The Cochrane Collaboration

Journal rating:
rating: 98%
Study Quality:
rating: 100%

Overall Reliability

Article Quality:
rating: 75%
rating: 75%


  • 37 studies of 27,946 children


  • The paper is a systematic review / meta analysis of all relevant trials.
  • This means that the data from all similar trials has been grouped to form an overall outcome.


  • The results indicate the following to be promising policies and strategies:
  • School curriculum that includes education on healthy eating, physical activity and body image.
  • Increased sessions for physical activity and the development of fundamental movement skills throughout the school week
  • Improvements in nutritional quality of the food in schools
  • Environments and cultural practices that support children eating healthier foods and being active throughout each day
  • Support for teachers and other staff to implement health promotion strategies and activities (e.g. professional development, capacity building activities)
  • Parent support and home activities that encourage children to be more active, eat more nutritious foods and spend less time in screen based activities
  • Despite many of the studies being of weak design, the authors found strong evidence to support beneficial effects of child obesity prevention programmes on BMI, particularly for programmes targeted to children aged six to 12 years.


  • Yes (without confidence)