Skip to main content


Cunha, Diana B.; de Souza, Bárbara da S. N.; Pereira, Rosangela Alves; & Sichieri, Rosely (2013). Effectiveness of a Randomized School-Based Intervention Involving Families and Teachers to Prevent Excessive Weight Gain among Adolescents in Brazil. PLOS ONE, 8(2), e57498. PMCID: PMC3581462


Objective: To evaluate the effectiveness of a school-based intervention involving the families and teachers that aimed to promote healthy eating habits in adolescents; the ultimate aim of the intervention was to reduce the increase in body mass index (BMI) of the students.
Design: Paired cluster randomized school-based trial conducted with a sample of fifth graders.
Setting: Twenty classes were randomly assigned into either an intervention group or a control group.
Participants: From a total of 574 eligible students, 559 students participated in the study (intervention: 10 classes with 277 participants; control: 10 classes with 282 participants). The mean age of students was 11 years.
Intervention: Students attended 9 nutritional education sessions during the 2010 academic year. Parents/guardians and teachers received information on the same subjects.
Main Outcome Measurement: Changes in BMI and percentage of body fat. Results: Intention-to-treat analysis showed that changes in BMI were not significantly different between the 2 groups (β = 0.003; p = 0.75). There was a major reduction in the consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages and cookies in the intervention group; students in this group also consumed more fruits.
Conclusion: Encouraging the adoption of healthy eating habits promoted important changes in the adolescent diet, but this did not lead to a reduction in BMI gain. Strategies based exclusively on the quality of diet may not reduce weight gain among adolescents.


Reference Type

Journal Article

Year Published


Journal Title



Cunha, Diana B.
de Souza, Bárbara da S. N.
Pereira, Rosangela Alves
Sichieri, Rosely