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Keywords:

  • school nurses;
  • child and adolescent health;
  • counseling;
  • nutrition and diet;
  • research

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND

Models are needed for implementing weight management interventions for adolescents through readily accessible venues. This study evaluated the feasibility and efficacy of a school nurse-delivered intervention in improving diet and activity and reducing body mass index (BMI) among overweight and obese adolescents.

METHODS

Six high schools were randomized to either a 6-session school nurse-delivered counseling intervention utilizing cognitive-behavioral techniques or nurse contact with provision of information. Eighty-four overweight or obese adolescents in grades 9 through 11 completed behavioral and physiological assessments at baseline and 2- and 6-month follow-ups.

RESULTS

At 2 months, intervention participants ate breakfast on more days/week (difference = 1.01 days; 95% CI: 0.11, 1.92), and had a lower intake of total sugar (difference = −45.79 g; 95% CI: −88.34, −3.24) and added sugar (difference = −51.35 g; 95% CI: −92.45, −10.26) compared to control participants. At 6 months, they were more likely to drink soda ≤ one time/day (OR 4.10; 95% CI: 1.19, 16.93) and eat at fast food restaurants ≤ one time/week (OR 4.62; 95% CI: 1.10, 23.76) compared to control participants. There were no significant differences in BMI, activity, or caloric intake.

CONCLUSION

A brief school nurse-delivered intervention was feasible, acceptable, and improved selected obesogenic behaviors, but not BMI.