Internet Based Obesity Prevention Program for Thai School Children- A Randomized Control Trial SC07-SC11
Dr. Lakkana Rerksuppaphol,
Assistant Professor, Department of Preventive Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Srinakharinwirot University,
62 Mo 7, Rangsit-Nakorn Nayok Rd., Nakorn Nayok-26120, Thailand.
Introduction: Internet based obesity prevention program is one approach in learning strategies to improve healthy behaviour. It has been advocated as one strategy to address the rising prevalence of childhood obesity; however, their efficacy is not seen consistently.
Aim: The purpose of this study was to assess the efficacy of internet based obesity prevention program in Thai school children.
Materials and Methods: Healthy children studying in public schools in one township of central Thailand were randomly assigned to either the intervention (internet based) program or the control group. Anthropometric characteristics were recorded at baseline and for the next four following months at monthly intervals. Changes in the percentage of overweight/obese children and changes in BMI at the end of study were considered as the primary and secondary outcome, respectively.
Results: A total of 217 children, mean age of 10.7 years, were included into the final analysis. Baseline anthropometric parameters and percentages of overweight/obesity were not significantly different between groups. At the end of the study, the control group had a higher percentage of overweight/obesity than the intervention group (56.6% vs. 39.6%, respectively; p-value=0.009). Children in the control group had a significantly higher increase in net BMI gains than those in the intervention group (1.24kg/m2 vs. 0.40kg/m2, p-value=0.027). The intervention group had no changes in BMI z-score (-0.001, 95%CI -0.19 to 0.18, p-value=0.988), contrary to those in the control group, which had significant gain of BMI z-score at the end of study (0.45, 95%CI 0.27 to 0.63, p-value<0.001).
Conclusion: Internet the based obesity prevention program was effective in modifying anthropometric outcome and helped to address the rising prevalence of overweight and obese status in Thai children.