BACKGROUND: Previous studies have shown that multicomponent interventions may improve meal frequency and eating habits in children, but evidence among young people is limited. This study evaluated the effect of the Healthy High School (HHS) intervention on daily intake of breakfast, lunch, water, fruit, and vegetables at 9-month follow-up. METHODS: The study included first-year students (≈16 years) attending high school in Denmark. Participating schools were randomized into the HHS intervention (N = 15) or control group (operating as usual) (N = 15). The intervention was designed to promote well-being (primary outcome) by focusing on healthy habits including meals, stress prevention, and strong peer relations. It included a curriculum, structural and organisational initiatives, a workshop, and a smartphone application. Students completed self-administered online questionnaires at the beginning of the school year and nine months later. To account for clustering of data, we used multilevel logistic regression analyses to estimate odds ratios (OR). We applied an intention-to-treat approach with multiple imputations of missing data. RESULTS: At baseline 4577 of 5201 students answered the questionnaire and 4512 at follow-up. In both groups the proportion of students eating breakfast decreased from approximately 50% to 40% from baseline to follow-up, and lunch frequency decreased from approximately 50% to 47%. Daily water intake, intake of fresh fruit and intake of vegetables remained unchanged from baseline to follow-up. There were no significant between group differences on any of the outcomes at first follow-up: breakfast: OR = 0.85 (95% CI: 0.65;1.10), lunch: OR = 0.96 (95% CI: 0.75;1.22), water intake: OR = 1.14 (95% CI: 0.92;1.40), intake of fresh fruit: (OR = 1.07, 95% CI: 0.84;1.37), vegetables: (OR = 1.01, 95% CI: 0.77;1.33). CONCLUSION: No evidence of an effect of the HHS intervention was found for any of the outcomes. Future studies are warranted to explore how health promoting interventions can be integrated in further education to support educational goals. Moreover, how to fit interventions to the lives and wishes of young people, by also including systems outside of the school setting. TRIAL REGISTRATION: ISRCTN, ISRCTN43284296 . Registered 28 April 2017 - retrospectively registered.
|Journal||The international journal of behavioral nutrition and physical activity|
|Publication status||Published - 4. Feb 2022|
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
© 2022. The Author(s).
- Eating habits
- Fruit and vegetables
- Meal frequency
- Randomized controlled trial
- School-based intervention
- Water intake