Oral Presentation Australian & New Zealand Obesity Society 2014 Annual Scientific Meeting

How effective was Curtin University’s Activity, Food and Attitudes Program at changing behaviours in overweight and obese adolescents? (#85)

Kyla Smith 1 , Erin Howie 1 , Ashley Fenner 2 , Deborah Kerr 3 , Martin Haggar 2 , Alexandra McManus 3 , Melissa Davis 2 , Timothy Olds 4 , Rebecca Abbott 1 , Joanne McVeigh 1 , Anne Smith 1 , Leon Straker 1
  1. School of Physiotherapy and Exercise Science, Curtin University, Perth, WA, Australia
  2. School of Psychology and Speech Pathology, Curtin University, Perth, WA, Australia
  3. School of Public Health, Curtin University, Perth, WA, Australia
  4. Health and Use of Time Group, University of South Australia, Adelaide, SA, Australia


Interventions for overweight/obese adolescents in Australia are scarce. The aim of this study was to evaluate an intervention based on self-determination theory that targeted activity, food and attitudes in overweight/obese adolescents.


Adolescents (n=68 age=14.1 SD 1.6) and parents completed an 8-week community-based multidisciplinary intervention at 3 sites in Western Australia across 3 waves. A 12-month maintenance period followed, involving tapered telephone and SMS contact. Participants completed anthropometric, fitness and psychological testing twice before the intervention (waitlist period), and across the 12 month maintenance period. Dietary intake was measured using 3-day food records and a questionnaire, physical activity was measured using accelerometers. Linear mixed models with repeated measures, adjusted for age at each time-point, were used to test the effects of the intervention.


Following the intervention, daily junk food intake decreased by 1.4 serves (IRR=0.69, 95% confidence interval: 0.55,0.88) and daily fruit intake increased by 0.5 serves (IRR=1.8, CI:1.2, 2.6). Using a Likert scale, consumption of fast food reduced by 0.2 points (CI:-0.4,-0.1) and intake of sugar-sweetened beverages reduced by 0.5 points (CI:-0.9, -0.1). Fat consumption decreased (-6.7g, CI:-10.9, -2.4) as did saturated fat consumption (-3.9, CI: -6.3, -1.6). Sedentary time decreased significantly during the intervention as compared to the waitlist period (-9.7min/day/month; CI:-18.0,-1.4) and moderate physical activity levels increased (2.6 min/day/month, CI: 0.1,5.2). Abdominal curl-up improved by 11.6/min (CI:3.4,19.8), all strength measures improved, vertical jump improved by 2.6 cm (0.9 to 4.3) and shuttle run increased by 81.3m (CI:39.8, 122.8). BMI-z score reduced (-0.008, CI:-0.2,-0.01). Health related quality of life increased (10.4 points, CI: 6.9, 19.9) and depressive feelings reduced (-1.7 points, CI:-2.9,-0.5).


Positive activity, food and attitude changes were observed in overweight/obese adolescent participants following participation in CAFAP.