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A school based, interdisciplinary curriculum in grades 6 and 7 reduced obesity in girls

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QUESTION: Can a school based, interdisciplinary health behaviour curriculum reduce obesity in boys and girls in grades 6 and 7?


Randomised (unclear allocation concealment), controlled, unblinded trial with follow up over 2 school years (Planet Health programme).


10 schools in 4 communities in Boston, Massachusetts, USA.


1560 students with parental consent who were in grades 6 or 7 (approximately ages 11 and 12 y) on 1 September, 1995 received Planet Health or the usual curriculum; students in special education classes were excluded. 1295 children (mean age 11.7 y, 52% boys, 69% white) (83%) were evaluated at the end of the study.


5 schools were allocated to the Planet Health programme, which consisted of teacher training workshops, classroom lessons, physical education materials, wellness sessions, and …

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  • Sources of funding: National Institutes of Child Health and Human Development; Centers of Disease Control and Prevention.

  • For correspondence: Dr S Gortmaker, Planet Health, Department of Health and Social Behavior, Harvard Center for Children's Health, Harvard School of Public Health, 677 Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA 02115, USA. Fax +1 617 432 3123.