“GIOCAMPUS” - An effective school-based intervention for breakfast promotion and overweight risk reduction

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Maurizio Vanelli
Giorgia Monti
Elio Volta
Viviana Finestrella
Dimitra Gkliati
Marta Cangelosi
Roberto Caragnulo
Marco Vitale
Lisa Ingrosso
Francesca Scazzina


Breakfast skipping, obesity, overweight, food, nutrition


The aim of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of a campaign promoting breakfast in primary school-children from the city of Parma, Italy, where 22 % of peer school-children had reported in 2005 to  skip breakfast. Two groups of children were interviewed by a multiple choice questionnaire on their breakfast habits. Group 1 counted only the children who  underwent the intensive campaign (n. 341), and  Group 2 a number of matched peers who did not attend any breakfast-promoting program (n. 291). Children who did not eat breakfast were found to be more numerous in Group 2 (17.5 %) than in  Group 1 (8.0 %; p=0.0001). In the Group 2 the percentage of  overweight (18.4 %) was higher compared to Group 1 patients (11.7 %; p=0.022). No significant difference in obesity percentage (8.9 vs 5.0 %; p=0.071).  Seventy five percent of children in Group I and the 25% of children in Group 2 (p=0.031) had one or two parents who had reported to skip routinely breakfast. Children with one or both parents used to skip breakfast had a greater odds ratio of 3.04  and  3 respectively of skipping breakfast compared to the children  with parents who had regularly  breakfast (p=0.0002). Compared to the children tested in 2005,  children admitted to   the Giocampus program showed: a significant decrease in breakfasting (22 vs 8 %; p=0.0001), a significant decrease in overweight (18.5 vs 11.7 %; p=0.003) but not in obesity (7.5 vs 5.0 %; p=0.138) status; a significant increase in consumption of cereals (p=0.0001) and fruit (p=0.0001). In conclusion, an intensive breakfast-centred strategy seems to be effective in breakfast promotion and in overweight risk decrease.


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