Effectiveness of school based educational intervention for healthy body mass index and its association with academic performance among school children: a quasi-experimental study

Manjula R., Ashok S. Dorle, B. S. Mannapur, Sachin Desai, Ashalatha Mallapur


Background: Childhood obesity is associated with a higher chance of premature death and disability in adulthood, according to the World Health Organization. More than two-thirds of the adolescents aged 11-17 years are physically inactive in India as per WHO standards. Hence, school based Healthy life style curriculum development is the need of the hour for school children. The objectives of the study were to promote healthy lifestyle, by implementing school based intervention program (physical activity and nutrition education) for healthy body mass index among school children; to study the correlation between the body mass index and academic performance (secondary objective).

Methods: A quasi-experimental study was conducted in the randomly selected schools of Bagalkot. A total of 598 students in intervention group and 575 students in control group participated in the study. Baseline information about demographic characteristics was obtained using pre-designed proforma. For intervention group, multicomponent programme was implemented based on child and adolescent trial for cardiovascular health model and the comprehensive school health programme model by the USA, centre for disease control. After 2 years, post-interventional data was collected.

Results: In pre-test intervention group majority of participants (37.4%) were having normal BMI, while 26.8% participants were obese. In post-test intervention group majority of participants (45.7%) were having normal BMI, while 23.1% participants were obese. In pre-test control group majority of participants (34.7%) were having normal BMI, while 27.1% participants were obese. In post-test control group majority of participants (38.7%) were having normal BMI, while 26.4% participants were obese. Majority of the students attained normal BMI after the intervention. BMI of the participants is negatively correlated to academic performance (r=-0.025).

Conclusions: The life style changes such as physical activity, yoga and meditation are the need of the hour among the schoolchildren, helps in maintenance of healthy BMI.


Body mass index, School children, Academic performance, School-based education intervention

Full Text:



Karnik S, Kanekar A. Childhood obesity: a global public health crisis. Int J Prev Med. 2012;3(1):1.

Available at: noncommunicable_diseases/ncd_situation_global_report_ncds_2014.pdf?ua=1. Accessed on 6 January 2018.

Thakur JS, Jeet G, Pal A, Singh S, Singh A, Deepti SS, et al. Profile of Risk Factors for Non-Communicable Diseases in Punjab, Northern India: Results of a State-Wide STEPS Survey. PLoS ONE. 2016;11(7):e0157705.

Donohoue PA. Obesity. In: Behrman RE, Kleigman RM, Jenson HB, eds. Nelson textbook of pediatrics. 17th ed. Philadelphia: WB Saunders; 2004: 173–177.

Raj M, Sundaram KR, Paul M, Deepa AS, Kumar RK. Obesity in Indian children: time trends and relationship with hypertension. Natl Med J India. 2007;20:288–93.

Warren JM, Henry CJK, Lightowler HJ, Bredshew SM, Porweiz S. Evaluation of pilot school programe aimed at the prevention of obesity in children. J Health Promotion International. 2203;18(4):287-96.

Calzada PJ, Anderson-Worts P. The obesity epidemic: Are minority individuals equally affected? Prim Care. 2009;36:307-17.

Aguirre-Pérez DM, Otero-Ojeda GA, Pliego-Rivero FB, Ferreira-Martínez AA. Relationship of working memory and EEG to academic performance: A study among high school students. Int J Neurosci. 2007;117:869-82.

Kim JH, So WY. Association between overweight/obesity and academic performance in South Korean adolescents. Cent Eur J Public Health. 2013;21:179-83.

Taras H, Potts-Datema W. Obesity and student performance at school. J Sch Health. 2005;75(8):291–5.

Florin TA, Shults J, Stettler N. Perception of Overweight Is Associated With Poor Academic Performance in US Adolescents. J Sch Health. 2011;81(11):663–70.

Huang TTK, Goran MI, Spruijt Metz D: Associations of Adiposity with Measured and Self Reported Academic Performance in Early Adolescence. Obesity. 2012;14(10):1839–45.

Ramaswamy R, Mirochna M, Perlmuter LC. The negative association of BMI with classroom effort in elementary school children. J Child Health Care. 2010;14(2):161–9.

Abdelalim A, Ajaj N, Al-Tmimy A, Alyousefi M, Al-Rashaidan S, Hammoud MS, et al. Childhood Obesity and Academic Achievement among Male Students in Public Primary Schools in Kuwait. Med Princ Pract. 2012;21(1):14–9.

Baxter SD, Royer JA, Hardin JW, Guinn CH, Devlin CM. The Relationship of School Absenteeism With Body Mass Index, Academic Achievement, and Socioeconomic Status Among Fourth‐Grade Children. J Sch Health. 2011,81(7):417–23.

Leupker RV, Murrey DM, Jacobs DR Jr, Mittelmark MB, Bracht N, Carlaw R, et al. Community education for Cardiovascular disease prevention; Risk factor changes in the Minnesto heart healthy programme. Amercal J Public Health. 1994;84:1383-93.

Allensworh DD, Kolbe LJ. The comprehensive school health programme: Exploring on expended concept. J School Health. 1987;57:409-12.

McIsaac JLD, Kirk SFL, Kuhle S. The Association between Health Behaviours and Academic Performance in Canadian Elementary School Students: A Cross-Sectional Study. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2015;12:14857-871.

Russell R. An Intervention to Increase Physical Activity in Children: A Randomized Controlled Trial with 4-Year-Olds in Preschools. Am J Prevent Med. 2016;51:12-22.

Alswat KA, Al-shehri AD, Aljuaid TA, Alzaidi BA, Alasmari HD. The association between body mass index and academic performance. Saudi Med J. 2017;38(2):186-91.

Pine DS, Goldstein RB, Wolk S, Weissman MM. The association between childhood depression and adulthood body mass index. Pediatrics. 2001:107(5):1049–56.

Wehigaldeniya WGDS, Oshani PAL, Kumara IMNS. Height, Weight, Body Mass Index (BMI) and Academic Performance (AP) of University Students in Sri Lanka: With Special Reference to the University of Kelaniya. Int J Sci Res Publications. 2017;7(2):217-9.

Sjöberg RL, Nilsson KW, Leppert J. Obesity, shame, and depression in school-aged children: a population-based study. Pediatrics. 2005,116(3):389–92.

Kim B, Park MJ. The influence of weight and height status on psychological problems of elementary schoolchildren through child behavior checklist analysis. Yonsei Med J. 2009;50(3):340–4.

Hernandez B, Gortmaker S, Colditz G, Peterson K, Laird N, Parra-Cabrera S. Association of obesity with physical activity, television programs and other forms of video viewing among children in Mexico city. Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord. 1999;23(8):845.

Freedman DS, Wang J, Maynard LM, Thornton JC, Mei Z, Pierson R, et al. Relation of BMI to fat and fat-free mass among children and adolescents. Int J Obes (Lond). 2004;29(1):1–8.

Tremblay MS, Inman JW, Willms JD. The relationship between physical activity, self-esteem, and academic achievement in 12-year-old children. Pediatr Exerc Sci. 2000;12(3):312–23.

Coe DP, Pivarnik JM, Womack CJ, Reeves MJ, Malina RM. Effect of physical education and activity levels on academic achievement in children. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2006;38(8):1515.

Fox CK, Barr-Anderson D, Neumark-Sztainer D, Wall M. Physical activity and sports team participation: Associations with academic outcomes in middle school and high school students. J School Health. 2010;80(1):31-7.

Wittberg RA, Northrup KL, Cottrell LA. Children's aerobic fitness and academic achievement: A longitudinal examination of students during their fifth and seventh grade years. Am J Public Health. 2012;102(12):2303-7.

Grissom JB. Physical fitness and academic achievement. J Exercise Physiol. 2005;8(1):11-25.

Van D, Kelder SH, Kohl III HW, Ranjit N, Perry CL. Associations of physical fitness and academic performance among schoolchildren. J School Health. 2011;81(12):733-40.