Effect of educational intervention on healthy lifestyle in Iranian children and adolescents: The IRAN-Ending Childhood Obesity (IRAN-ECHO) Program

educational intervention on healthy lifestyle

  • Zahra Abdollahi
  • Ali-Akbar Sayyari
  • Beheshteh Olang
  • Hassan Ziaodini
  • Hossein Fallah
  • Zahra Abasalti
  • Fereshteh Fozouni
  • Sakineh Jafari
  • Farhad Lashkarlouki
  • Mahnoush Sahebdel
  • Arash Siadati
  • Hamideh Aslani
  • Roya Riahi
  • Motahar Heidari-Beni Mail Assistant Professor, Department of Pediatrics, Child Growth and Development Research Center, Research Institute for Primordial Prevention of Non-communicable Disease, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran.
  • Roya Kelishadi
Health behavior, Education, knowledge, attitude


Background: Overweight and obesity during childhood and adolescence are increasing as public health problem

Objective: This study aimed at examining the effect of the education program on children and adolescents’ knowledge, attitudes and behavior in relation to healthy lifestyle.

Methods: This study was performed as a quasi-experimental national survey as part of the IRAN-Ending Childhood Obesity (IRAN-ECHO) program. Participants were selected from six cities of Iran. The sample size was calculated as 1264 for each city. Nutrition-related knowledge, attitudes and behavior were measured at pre- and post-intervention surveys. Physician and dietitian provided recommendations on healthy dietary, reducing screen time, increasing physical activity, and sufficient sleep time, as well as behavioral therapy when necessary.

Results: The prevalence of excess weight (overweight/obesity) was 7.6%. The frequency of desirable knowledge after intervention (32.5%) is significantly higher than before intervention (24.8%) (p-value=0.02). The mean score of attitude about obesity complications was significantly increased from 73.09 to 74.78 after intervention (p-value < 0.05). There was significant increase in mean score of practice in relation to low consumption of unhealthy snacks after intervention compared to the baseline (difference = 1.63, p-value=0.03). The mean score of mild physical activity increased from 50.67 to 65 after intervention (p-value< 0.001). There was no significant differences between the desirable total attitude and total practice before and after the intervention (p-value > 0.05).

Conclusion: Educational intervention based on WHO-ECHO recommendations can be useful for improvement the knowledge related to healthy lifestyle in children and adolescents; over time it might lead to change in attitude and in turn in improving their practice


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How to Cite
Abdollahi Z, Sayyari A-A, Olang B, Ziaodini H, Fallah H, Abasalti Z, Fozouni F, Jafari S, Lashkarlouki F, Sahebdel M, Siadati A, Aslani H, Riahi R, Heidari-Beni M, Kelishadi R. Effect of educational intervention on healthy lifestyle in Iranian children and adolescents: The IRAN-Ending Childhood Obesity (IRAN-ECHO) Program. J Nutr Sci & Diet. 5(1).
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