IJERPH, Vol. 16, Pages 5016: The Effects of a Comprehensive, Integrated Obesity Prevention Intervention Approach (SuperFIT) on Children`s Physical Activity, Sedentary Behavior, and BMI Z-Score (International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health)
SuperFIT is a comprehensive, integrated intervention approach aimed at promoting healthy energy balance-related behaviors in 2- to 4-year-old children in the preschool and home settings. A quasi-experimental research design was adopted to evaluate the effects of SuperFIT on physical activity (PA), sedentary behavior (SB) and Body Mass Index (BMI) z-score. Children could participate in the preschool-based and family-based component (full intervention) or only in the preschool-based component (partial intervention). Children’s PA levels and SB were assessed with accelerometers and observations, and height and weight were measured for the BMI z-score. Measurements were performed at baseline and two follow-up time points. Effectiveness was evaluated using linear mixed-model analyses, correcting for relevant covariates. Healthy changes in PA levels occurred within all study groups over time. No significant differences were found in overall PA levels between the intervention groups and control group at both follow-ups. Nevertheless, sedentary behavior decreased more in the full intervention group (effect size (ES): −0.62), and moderate-to-vigorous PA (ES: 0.85) and counts per minute (ES: 0.45) increased more compared to the control group on preschool days at the first follow-up. No effects were found for BMI z-score. The integrated approach of SuperFIT may induce changes in PA of young children, although the effects were small.