Changes in Sedentary and Active Lifestyle, Diet Quality and Body Composition Nine Months after an Education Program in Polish Students Aged 11⁻12 Years: Report from the ABC of Healthy Eating Study.Nutrients. 2019 Feb 03; 11(2)N
The sustainability of education focused on improving the dietary and lifestyle behaviours of teenagers has not been extensively studied. The aim of this study was to determine the sustainability of diet-related and lifestyle-related school-based education on sedentary and active lifestyle, diet quality and body composition of Polish pre-teenagers in a medium-term follow-up study. An education-based intervention study was carried out on 464 students aged 11⁻12 years (educated/control group: 319/145). Anthropometric measurements were taken and body mass index (BMI) and waist-to-height ratios (WHtR) were calculated, both at the baseline and after nine months. Dietary data from a short-form food frequency questionnaire (SF-FFQ4PolishChildren) were collected. Two measures of lifestyle (screen time, physical activity) and two diet quality scores (pro-healthy, pHDI, and non-healthy, nHDI) were established. After nine months, in the educated group (vs. control) a significantly higher increase was found in nutrition knowledge score (mean difference of the change: 1.8 points) with a significantly higher decrease in physical activity (mean difference of the change: -0.20 points), nHDI (-2.3% points), the z-WHtR (-0.18 SD), and the z-waist circumference (-0.13 SD). Logistic regression modelling with an adjustment for confounders revealed that after nine months in the educated group (referent: control), the chance of adherence to a nutrition knowledge score of at least the median was over 2 times higher, and that of the nHDI category of at least the median was significantly lower (by 35%). In conclusion, diet-related and lifestyle-related school-based education from an almost one-year perspective can reduce central adiposity in pre-teenagers, despite a decrease in physical activity and the tendency to increase screen time. Central adiposity reduction can be attributed to the improvement of nutrition knowledge in pre-teenagers subjected to the provided education and to stopping the increase in unhealthy dietary habits.