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Health Evidence™ hosted a 90 minute webinar examining the effectiveness of physical activity, diet and other behavioural interventions for improving cognition and school achievement in children and adolescents with obesity or overweight. Follow this link to access to the audio recording for this webinar: https://youtu.be/lzKV2Hg1J44
Dr. Anne Martin, Research Associate at the MRC/CSO Social and Public Health Sciences Unit, University of Glasgow, and Dr. Josie Booth, Lecturer at the Institute for Education, Community and Society, The University of Edinburgh, presented an overview of findings from their latest systematic review and meta-analysis:
Martin A, Booth J, Laird Y, Sproule J, Reilly J, & Saunders D. (2018). Physical activity, diet and other behavioural interventions for improving cognition and school achievement in children and adolescents with obesity or overweight. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, 2018(1), CD009728.
The global prevalence of childhood and adolescent obesity is high. Lifestyle changes towards a healthy diet, increased physical activity and reduced sedentary activities are recommended to prevent and treat obesity. This systematic review assesses whether lifestyle interventions (in the areas of diet, physical activity, sedentary behaviour and behavioural therapy) improve school achievement, cognitive function (e.g. executive functions) and/or future success in children and adolescents with obesity or overweight, compared with standard care, waiting-list control, no treatment, or an attention placebo control group. Eighteen randomized and cluster-randomized controlled trials involving 2384 children were included in this review. Findings suggest that school and community‐based physical activity interventions provided within obesity prevention or treatment programmes can improve executive functions in children with obesity or overweight. Additionally, children with obesity may see improvements in general school achievement with school‐based dietary interventions.