Obesity causes depression and undermines mental health in adolescents. It is also related to adulthood diseases and mortality. The current study drew upon an educational intervention to modify some Health Belief Model constructs to preventing overweight and obesity among adolescents.
Materials and Methods: In this quasi-experimental study 100 boy students recruited from selected boys junior high schools in Isfahan. They were randomly assigned to intervention (n=50) and control (n=50) groups. In 4 training sessions, a nutritionist introduced different types of healthy foods and explained how to consume them. A sports coach also taught how to do physical exercises well in 4 sessions (each one 90 minutes in terms of nutrition and physical activity). Data of pretest and posttest gathered from demographic and a valid questionnaire were fed into the SPSS software, version 20.0 and analyzed using relevant statistical tests.
Results: The independent t-test revealed that, before the intervention, there was no significant difference between the two groups in the mean scores of knowledge, perceived benefits, perceived barriers, physical activity, and nutrition behavior (P>0.05); but, after the intervention, this difference between the two groups was significant (P<0.05). The multiple linear regression analysis indicated that, from among the scores of knowledge, perceived benefits, and perceived barriers, the score of knowledge (r= 0.643, P<0.001) was the best predictor of the behavior scores of physical activity and nutrition (P< 0.05).
Considering the positive effect of model base education to improve obesity related life style in adolescents, it seems that planning and implementing these kinds of interventions in schools will be useful to promote healthy life style in students.