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Childhood Obesity Prevention in Africa: A Systematic Review of Intervention Effectiveness and Implementation

1
UKCRC Centre for Diet and Activity Research (CEDAR), MRC Epidemiology Unit, University of Cambridge, Cambridge CB2 0QQ, UK
2
MRC/Wits Developmental Pathways for Health Research Unit (DPHRU), Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg 1862, South Africa
3
Department of Health, Behavior and Society, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(7), 1212; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph16071212
Received: 19 February 2019 / Revised: 23 March 2019 / Accepted: 27 March 2019 / Published: 4 April 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Health Behavior, Chronic Disease and Health Promotion)
Childhood obesity is of increasing concern in many parts of Africa. We conducted a systematic search and review of published literature on behavioural childhood obesity prevention interventions. A literature search identified peer-reviewed literature from seven databases, and unindexed African journals, including experimental studies targeting children age 2–18 years in African countries, published in any language since 1990. All experimental designs were eligible; outcomes of interest were both behavioural (physical activity, dietary behaviours) and anthropometric (weight, body mass index, body composition). We also searched for process evaluations or other implementation observations. Methodological quality was assessed; evidence was synthesised narratively as a meta-analysis was not possible. Seventeen articles describing 14 interventions in three countries (South Africa, Tunisia and Uganda) were included. Effect scores indicated no overall effect on dietary behaviours, with some beneficial effects on physical activity and anthropometric outcomes. The quality of evidence was predominantly weak. We identified barriers and facilitators to successful interventions, and these were largely resource-related. Our systematic review highlights research gaps in targeting alternative settings to schools, and younger age groups, and a need for more rigorous designs for evaluating effectiveness. We also recommend process evaluations being used more widely. View Full-Text
Keywords: low- and middle-income countries (LMIC); behavioural intervention; physical activity; dietary behaviour; sedentary; school setting; intervention evaluation low- and middle-income countries (LMIC); behavioural intervention; physical activity; dietary behaviour; sedentary; school setting; intervention evaluation
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MDPI and ACS Style

Klingberg, S.; Draper, C.E.; Micklesfield, L.K.; Benjamin-Neelon, S.E.; van Sluijs, E.M.F. Childhood Obesity Prevention in Africa: A Systematic Review of Intervention Effectiveness and Implementation. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16, 1212. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph16071212

AMA Style

Klingberg S, Draper CE, Micklesfield LK, Benjamin-Neelon SE, van Sluijs EMF. Childhood Obesity Prevention in Africa: A Systematic Review of Intervention Effectiveness and Implementation. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2019; 16(7):1212. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph16071212

Chicago/Turabian Style

Klingberg, Sonja; Draper, Catherine E.; Micklesfield, Lisa K.; Benjamin-Neelon, Sara E.; van Sluijs, Esther M.F. 2019. "Childhood Obesity Prevention in Africa: A Systematic Review of Intervention Effectiveness and Implementation" Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 16, no. 7: 1212. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph16071212

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