The effect of an obesity prevention program on children's eating behaviors, food addiction, physical activity, and obesity status

Demir D., BEKTAŞ M.

Journal of Pediatric Nursing, vol.61, pp.355-363, 2021 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 61
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.pedn.2021.09.001
  • Journal Name: Journal of Pediatric Nursing
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus, ASSIA, CINAHL, EMBASE, MEDLINE, DIALNET
  • Page Numbers: pp.355-363
  • Keywords: Childhood obesity, Eating behaviors of children, Food addiction, Obesity related education, Physical activity
  • Hakkari University Affiliated: No


Purpose: This study was carried out to determine the effect of an obesity prevention program on children's eating behaviors, food addiction, physical activity, and obesity prevalence. Design and methods: A pretest-posttest quasi-experimental design was used in the study. The study was conducted with a total of 128 students, including 55 in the intervention and 73 in the control groups. The obesity prevention program was implemented in the intervention group, and a routine curriculum training program was followed in the control group. The study data were collected before the intervention and in the third, sixth, and fifteenth months after the completion of the intervention. The data were evaluated using the chi-square test, McNeamer test, Cochrane Q test, multivariate analysis of variance in repeated measures, the Bonferroni adjusted paired t-test, power analysis, effect size, and regression analysis. Results: At the end of the study, it was determined that the body mass index values and food addiction rates of the students in the intervention group were lower than those of the students in the control group (p < .05). There was a significant difference between the mean scores of the students in the intervention and control groups obtained from the eating behavior questionnaire and the physical activity questionnaire in terms of time, group, and group * time interaction (p < .05). Also, the intervention program was found to have a large effect size (0.39) and a strong effect (0.85) on body mass index. Conclusion: The obesity prevention intervention program was found to be effective in increasing children's positive eating behaviors and mean physical activity score and decreasing food addiction rates and body mass index values. Practice implications: We recommend that the intervention program implemented in this study should be used widely in the curriculum of the Ministry of Education. This program shows that the school nurse is effective in preventing obesity in children. For this reason, there should be a school nurse in schools for implementing health-promoting education programs.