Effect of food environment interventions on anthropometric outcomes in school-aged children and adolescents in low- And middle-income countries: A systematic review and meta-analysis

Bianca Carducci, Christina Oh, Emily C. Keats, Daniel E. Roth, Zulfiqar A. Bhutta

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Food environments may promote access to unhealthy foods, contributing to noncommunicable diseases in low- and middle- income countries (LMICs). This review assessed published evidence on the effects of food environment interventions on anthropometric (BMI and weight status) outcomes in school-aged children (5-9 y) and adolescents (10-19 y) (SACA) in LMICs. We summarized randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and quasi-experimental studies (QES) published since 2000 to August 2019 in the peer-reviewed and gray literature that assessed the effects of food-related behavioral and environmental interventions on diet-related health outcomes in SACA in LMICs. Electronic databases (MEDLINE, Embase, PsycINFO, Cochrane Library) were searched using appropriate keywords, Medical Subject Headings, and free text terms. Eleven RCTs and 6 QES met the inclusion criteria, testing multicomponent behavioral and environmental interventions in schools. Analysis of 6 RCTs (n = 17,054) suggested an overall effect on change in BMI [mean difference (MD): -0.11, 95% CI: -0.19, -0.03], whereas there was no observed effect in 5 studies using endline BMI (n = 17,371) (MD: 0.05, 95% CI: -0.32, 0.21). There was no significant pooled effect among the 3 QES (n = 5,023) that reported differences in change in BMI or endline (MD: -0.37, 95% CI: -0.95, 0.22). There is limited evidence to support the modification of diet-related health outcomes through school-based food environment interventions in SACA in LMICs. Further studies are needed to understand the impact of school and community-based food environment interventions on nutritional status in this population.

Original languageEnglish
JournalCurrent Developments in Nutrition
Volume4
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 27 May 2020

Keywords

  • Adolescents
  • Developing countries
  • Diet
  • Food environment
  • Nutrition
  • School-age children

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