Sustainability of the results of a non communicable diseases prevention program among youth in the region of Sousse, Tunisia

Nawel Zammit, Jihene Maatoug, Rim Ghammam, Kebaili Raoudha, Boughammoura Lamia, Al'Absi Mustafa, Lando Harry, Hassen Ghannem

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Implementation of a healthy lifestyle at an early age is described as a successful intervention to prevent non communicable diseases. However, successful programs are not necessarily sustainable. The purpose of this study was to evaluate a 1-year sustainability of a 3-year comprehensive intervention conducted to promote a healthy lifestyle among schoolchildren. A cohort study of 204 schoolchildren enrolled in middle schools was conducted after a quasi-experimental study in the region of Sousse, Tunisia. The survey lasted 1 year. An exposed group (n=105) was selected from the intervention group and the not-exposed group (n=99) was selected from the control group. The exposition was the intervention. The same questionnaire used at pre-intervention and post-intervention was self-administered to collect data about tobacco use, physical activity and eating habits. The biometric measurements were taken by trained medical doctors at schools. After 1 year of follow-up, none of participants became smokers in the exposed group. However, in the not-exposed group five (5.1%) participants became smokers. The proportion of schoolchildren who experimented with tobacco for the first time increased insignificantly by 2.9% (p=0.77) in the exposed group versus a significant increase by 11.1% (p=0.001) in the not-exposed group. Concerning the recommended physical activity practice, fast food and fried food consumption and overweight, there were no significant changes in the two groups. A 3-year non communicable diseases prevention program has limited sustainable effects among schoolchildren in the short-term. Its repetition or a continued program through multisectoral actions is required.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number20160065
JournalInternational Journal of Adolescent Medicine and Health
Volume30
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018

Keywords

  • adolescent
  • lifestyle
  • schools

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