Effect of educational interventions on health in childhood: A meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials

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The purpose of this study was to summarize the evidences from randomized controlled trials (RCTs) investigating the effects of educational interventions in overweight/obesity childhood by using meta-analytic approach.


PubMed, Embase, and the Cochrane Library databases were searched from the inception to April 2018. Weighted mean differences (WMDs) with corresponding 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were used to measure the effects of educational interventions during childhood in the random-effects models.


Thirty RCTs reporting data on 35,296 children were included in the meta-analysis. The summary WMD indicated that children received educational interventions had lower levels of body mass index (BMI) (WMD: −0.15; 95% CI: −0.24 to −0.05; P = .003), BMI z-score (WMD: −0.03; 95% CI: −0.05 to −0.02; P < .001), waist circumference (WMD: −0.97; 95% CI: −1.95 to −0.00; P = 0.050), triceps skinfold (WMD: −1.39; 95% CI: −2.41 to −0.37; P = .008), systolic blood pressure (WMD: −1.13; 95% CI: −2.20 to −0.07; P = .037), total cholesterol (WMD: −4.04; 95% CI: −7.18 to −0.90; P = .012), and triglyceride (WMD: −2.62; 95% CI: −4.33 to −0.90; P = .003). However, educational interventions were not associated with the levels of waist-to-hip ratio, diastolic blood pressure, high-density lipoprotein, and low-density lipoprotein.


The study findings elucidate the positive effects of educational interventions on BMI, BMI z-score, waist circumference, triceps skinfold, systolic blood pressure, total cholesterol, and triglyceride.

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