Achieving sustained lifestyle changes by implementing a health promotion program in preschools requires multidisciplinary teams, multidimensional educational programs, and multilevel interventions

“The school environment is a great area to introduce lifestyle interventions, because children are spending so much of their time there,” a co-author of an article published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, said in a subsequent statement.

In the article, Gloria Santos-Beneit, Ph.D., from the Foundation for Science, Health, and Education in Barcelona, Spain, and colleagues outlined the key lessons learned during 10 years of experience in implementing the Salud Integral-Comprehensive Health (SI!) Program for cardiovascular health promotion in preschool settings in Colombia, Spain, and the United States.

The researchers note that the divide between science and educational practice can be bridged by matching rigorous efficacy studies with implementation science. In preschool children, achieving sustainable lifestyle changes through health promotion programs is likely to necessitate integration of multiple factors, including multidisciplinary teams, multidimensional educational programs, multilevel interventions, local program coordination and engagement in the community, and scientific assessment via randomized controlled trials.

“Our review, and previous studies,” the co-author added, “suggest that 4 to 5 years of age is the most favourable time to start a school-based intervention focused on healthy habits.”


REFERENCE: Santos-Beneit et al: Lessons Learned From 10 Years of Preschool Intervention for Health Promotion: JACC State-of-the-Art Review;