Intended for healthcare professionals


Childhood obesity can be prevented, says Cochrane

BMJ 2011; 343 doi: (Published 08 December 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;343:d8014
  1. Melissa Sweet
  1. 1Sydney

Strategies to promote healthy eating and physical activity in schools and other settings are effective in preventing childhood obesity, says an updated Cochrane Collaboration review released this week.

The publication is an update of a 2001 review that reached more equivocal conclusions when last updated in 2005. It includes 55 studies of interventions targeting children up to age 18 years, with most involving children aged 6 to 12 years.

The review’s lead author, Professor Elizabeth Waters, the Jack Brockhoff chair of child public health at the University of Melbourne, told the BMJ that the most effective interventions sought to change social and physical environments and norms, rather than just individual behaviour.

These included policies for healthy eating and physical activity in schools and early childcare settings, support for teachers and other …

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