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JOURNAL ARTICLE
MULTICENTER STUDY
RANDOMIZED CONTROLLED TRIAL

Changes in nutrient intakes of elementary school children following a school-based intervention: results from the CATCH Study

L A Lytle, E J Stone, M Z Nichaman, C L Perry, D H Montgomery, T A Nicklas, M M Zive, P Mitchell, J T Dwyer, M K Ebzery, M A Evans, T P Galati
Preventive Medicine 1996, 25 (4): 465-77
8818069

BACKGROUND: Twenty-four-hour recalls were used to assess the change in nutrient intake among elementary-age school children exposed to the Child and Adolescent Trial for Cardiovascular Health (CATCH). The purpose of this paper is to compare changes in nutrient intakes between treatment groups, sexes, ethnic groups, and the four CATCH sites.

METHODS: Twenty-four-hour recalls were administered to a subsample of the CATCH cohort at baseline in third grade and following the intervention in fifth grade (n = 1,182). Changes in nutrient levels for total energy, dietary cholesterol, and dietary fiber and changes in the proportion of energy from fat, protein, carbohydrate, and fatty acids were studied looking at differences by treatment group, sex, ethnicity, and site. Mixed-model analysis of variance was used to examine the change in nutrient intake, defined as intake at follow-up minus intake at baseline.

RESULTS: Students in the intervention schools showed statistically significant differences in the changes in total energy and proportion of energy from total fat, saturated fat, protein, and monounsaturated fat compared with students in the control group. Students in the intervention group decreased their total fat intake from 32.7% of energy to 30.3% of energy and saturated fat from 12.8% of energy to 11.4% of energy. There were no significant differences in intervention effects by ethnic group, sex, or site. Differences in nutrient change between the school-only and the school-plus-family intervention groups were nonsignificant.

CONCLUSION: The results show that a school-based intervention can positively influence children's intakes of total fat and saturated fat, suggesting that population-based approaches for reducing cardiovascular risk factors in children are feasible and effective. The results are also important in showing that the intervention was effective in Caucasian, African-American, and Hispanic students, in boys and girls, and across four regions of the United States.

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