Due to significant increases in the prevalence of overweight and obesity in adolescents in developed countries, much attention has been focused on this issue. This study aimed to determine the effectiveness of nutritional education based on Health Belief Model (HBM) on self-esteem and body mass index (BMI) of overweight and at risk of overweight adolescent girls.
Materials and Methods: The study subjects consist of 140 female students recruited from two high schools, who were randomly allocated to the intervention (n=70) and control (n=70) groups. The data collection instrument included sections on socio-demographic status, transportation method, physical status, and knowledge and attitudes of the students towards nutrition, which was designed according to HBM. As the intervention, model-based educational program was implemented through six 60-minute sessions, focusing on the overweight and at-risk students. Results were compared in the beginning, and three months after the intervention to find the possible impacts.
Results: Average score of model structures and self-esteem of students in both groups had no significant difference at baseline, but immediately after the intervention and 3 months after treatment, the mean component scores were significantly higher in intervention group than controls (P<0.05). There was no significant difference in the control group between the mean scores of model structures and self-esteem at different times. There was a significant difference at different times in component scores in the experimental group (P<0.05). The mean score of BMI in the control group had no significant difference in different time. Significant difference in BMI scores was seen at different times in experimental group (P<0.05).
Conclusion: The positive effect of this program was seen among the participants. Therefore such interventions in schools for developing effective long-term healthy behaviors have preventive and controlling effects on overweight.