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 language||English (US)|
|Journal||International Journal of Adolescent Medicine and Health|
|State||Published - Jan 1 2018|