Journal of Obesity & Metabolic Syndrome



Korean J Obes 2009; 18(4): 146-157

Published online December 1, 2009

Copyright © Korean Society for the Study of Obesity.

Effect of a School-based Intervention for Overweight Children “Fitness Class”
Performed on Elementary Schools Located in Seoul

Young Gyu Cho, Hye Ryoung Song(1), Kyung A Kim(2), Jae Heon Kang*, Joo Ho Kang, Young Hee Song(3), Hyeon Ja Yun(4), Hye Soon Kim(5)

Department of Family Medicine, Seoul Paik Hospital, College of Medicine, Inje University; Department of Family Medicine, College of Medicine, Eulji University(1); Institute for Clinical Nutrition, Inje University(2); School Health and Physical Education Division, Seoul Metropolitan Office of Education(3); Jeungsan Elementary School, Gangseo District Office of Education(4); and Samjeong Elementary School, Seobu District office of Education(5)


Background: Preventing and treating obesity during
childhood have been recognized as effective strategy to
tackle the global epidemic of obesity. School setting is
suitable to carry out intervention for childhood obesity.
This study was conducted to assess effect of a school
-based intervention for overweight children performed on
elementary schools in Seoul, 2007.
Methods: “Fitness Class” was a multi-component
intervention including education on nutrition, physical
activity and behavior modification. It was an intervention
for secondary prevention targeting obese children. The
intervention was composed of 12 sessions during 1st
semester and 2nd semester, respectively. 446 students
(276 boys, 170 girls; 2 students from 3rd grade, 188 from
4th grade, 210 from 5th grade, 46 from 6th grade) from
35 elementary schools located in Seoul were included in
this study. Body mass index, obesity index and body fat
percentage were measured and lifestyle habits were
surveyed at baseline and post-intervention.
Results: Mean obesity index of participants was 140.0
± 14.3% at baseline and 137.0 ± 14.4% at post-intervention.
Mean obesity index of participants was reduced by 3.1 ±
7.7% (P < 0.001). The prevalence of severe obesity was
decreased from 20.2% to 14.8% and the prevalence of
moderate obesity was decreased from 61.0% to 54.0%
after this intervention. Eating habits, physical activity
habits, self-respect and nutrition knowledge were also
improved through this intervention.
Conclusion: “Fitness Class” performed on elementary
schools in Seoul in 2007 reduced obesity index of
children and also improved eating habits, physical activity
habits, self-esteem and nutrition knowledge of children.
However, definite effect of this intervention could not be
evaluated due to some limitations in program design.

Keywords: child, overweight, school, intervention