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Backgroundurgent development of effective interventions to prevent rapidly rising childhood obesity in China is needed.MethodsBetween May 2010 and December 2013, a cluster randomized controlled trial was conducted among 4th graders in eight urban primary schools randomly assigned to intervention or control groups in Nanjing, China. A multi-component intervention program was implemented within the treatment group, while students in the control group followed their usual health education curriculum without additional intervention.ResultsAt baseline, 638 and 544 students were enrolled in the intervention and control group, respectively. The prevalence of excess body weight was 26.8%, with 27.4% in the intervention group and 26.1% in the control group (p=0.61). The mean (SD) BMI and WC was 18.7 (3.0) and 63.0 (9.2) for participants in intervention schools, and 18.5 (2.9) and 63.6 (8.7) for students in control group, separately (p=0.24 and 0.41, respectively). Compared to those who were not aware of what lifestyle/behavior factors were unhealthy, students who were aware of the unhealthy lifestyle/ behavior factors consumed fewer fried snacks (0.46±0.76 serves/week vs 0.65±0.91 serves/week; p<0.01), soft drinks (160±194 ml/week vs 199±227 ml/week; p<0.01), but larger amount of meat (502±429 g/week vs 449±344 g/week; p=0.03), and reported less screen time (214±232 minutes/week vs 252±264 minutes/week; p<0.01). Moreover, there was no difference within physical activity time between these two groups (257±341 minutes/week vs 218±324 minutes/week; p=0.13).ConclusionsMain characteristics of participants were balanced at baseline within intervention and control schools, but a gap existed between healthy lifestyle knowledge and actual healthy behavior in students.Trial registration numberChiCTR-ERC-11001819.

Original publication




Journal article


Asia Pacific journal of clinical nutrition

Publication Date





48 - 54


Nanjing Municipal Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 2, Zizhulin, Nanjing 210003, China.


Animals, Humans, Exercise, Diet, Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice, Health Behavior, Life Style, Health Education, Schools, Carbonated Beverages, Meat, Child, Urban Population, Health Promotion, China, Female, Male, Snacks, Pediatric Obesity