Sahota P, Rudolf MC, Dixey R, Hill AJ, Barth JH, Cade J. Randomised controlled trial of primary school based intervention to reduce risk factors for obesity. BMJ 2001 Nov 3;323(7320):1029-32.


OBJECTIVE: To assess if a school based intervention was effective in reducing risk factors for obesity. DESIGN: Group randomised controlled trial. SETTING: 10 primary schools in Leeds. PARTICIPANTS: 634 children aged 7-11 years. INTERVENTION: Teacher training, modification of school meals, and the development of school action plans targeting the curriculum, physical education, tuck shops, and playground activities. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Body mass index, diet, physical activity, and psychological state. RESULTS: Vegetable consumption by 24 hour recall was higher in children in the intervention group than the control group (weighted mean difference 0.3 portions/day, 95% confidence interval 0.2 to 0.4), representing a difference equivalent to 50% of baseline consumption. Fruit consumption was lower in obese children in the intervention group (-1.0, -1.8 to -0.2) than those in the control group. The three day diary showed higher consumption of high sugar foods (0.8, 0.1 to 1.6)) among overweight children in the intervention group than the control group. Sedentary behaviour was higher in overweight children in the intervention group (0.3, 0.0 to 0.7). Global self worth was higher in obese children in the intervention group (0.3, 0.3 to 0.6). There was no difference in body mass index, other psychological measures, or dieting behaviour between the groups. Focus groups indicated higher levels of self reported behaviour change, understanding, and knowledge among children who had received the intervention. CONCLUSION: Although it was successful in producing changes at school level, the programme had little effect on children's behaviour other than a modest increase in consumption of vegetables.

Full Text

The full text is available at https://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.323.7320.1029

At A Glance

Individual Dietary Behavior Variables

Macronutrients, including Saturated Fat
Sweetened Beverages


Individual Dietary Behavior

Measure Type

24-hour dietary recall

Measure Availability

Not available

Number of Items

Not applicable

Study location


Leeds, England



Information about Development of Measure

Nothing to add

Study Design

Study Participants


6 - 11 Years





Multiethnic/racial population (no further detail)

Predominantly Low-income/Low-SES


Sample Size


Study Design

Design Type


Health Outcomes Assessed


Obesity Measures

BMI for age

BMI for age (Mean)

BMI for age (Proportion with BMI for age at or above 85th percentile)

BMI for age (Proportion with BMI for age at or above 95th percentile)

BMI Z-score

BMI Measured or Self-reported

Measured height

Measured weight


Psychological factors (e.g., self-efficacy, beliefs, preferences)

Data Reported on Race/Ethnicity

Quantitative data on study sample

Quantitative data for community or area

Data Reported on SES

Quantitative data on study sample

Qualitative description

SES-related Variables

Program Participation (e.g., WIC, Free/Reduced School Meals)

How To Use


Who Administered


How Administered

Not reported

Time Required

1 day

Training Required

Yes, time not reported

Instructions on Use

Not reported

Data Analysis

Data Collection/Analysis Costs

Not available

Data Collection/Protocol

Not available

Instructions on Data Analysis

Instructions on analysis included in article

Validity (0)

There are no validity tests reported for this measure.

Reliability (0)

There are no reliability tests reported for this measure.