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International Journal of Adolescent Medicine and Health

Editor-in-Chief: Merrick, Joav

Editorial Board: Birch, Diana ML / Blum, Robert W. / Greydanus, MD, Dr. HC (Athens), Donald E. / Hardoff, Daniel / Kerr, Mike / Levy, Howard B / Morad, Mohammed / Omar, Hatim A. / de Paul, Joaquin / Rydelius, Per-Anders / Shek, Daniel T.L. / Sher, Leo / Silber, Tomas J. / Towns, Susan / Urkin, Jacob / Verhofstadt-Deneve, Leni / Zeltzer, Lonnie / Tenenbaum, Ariel

CiteScore 2018: 0.79

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2018: 0.350
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2018: 0.476

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Volume 29, Issue 2


Challenges and results of a school-based intervention to manage excess weight among school children in Tunisia 2012–2014

Jihen Maatoug / Sihem Ben Fredj / Zeineb Msakni / Emna Dendana / Jihene Sahli / Imed Harrabi / Firas Chouikha / Lamia Boughamoura / Slim Slama
  • Department of Community Medicine, Primary Care and Emergency, University Hospitals of Geneva, Geneva, Switzerland
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Nathalie Farpour-Lambert / Hassen Ghannem
Published Online: 2015-09-11 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/ijamh-2015-0035



Obesity is a serious health issue and predisposes individuals to an increased risk of morbidity and mortality. Its prevalence in children has increased worldwide.


To demonstrate the feasibility and effectiveness of a school-based management program based on healthy lifestyle promotion for obese and overweight adolescents in Sousse, Tunisia.


We conducted a quasi-experimental study among overweight and obese school children enrolled in 7th and 8th grades in Sousse, Tunisia with two groups, intervention and control. The 1-year intervention was based on promoting healthy eating and physical activity through a collective intervention for all recruited children and an individual intervention only for obese children who require intensive managing. Data collection was done before, at the end and at a 4-month follow up of the intervention, both in intervention and control groups.


The body mass index Z score decreased significantly from pre-intervention to post-intervention (1.89±0.57 to 1.76±0.63, p<0.001) and from post-intervention to the follow-up (1.76±0.63 to 1.55±0.68, p<0.001) in the intervention group. In the control group, it decreased significantly from pre-intervention to post-intervention but not significantly from post-intervention to follow-up assessment. Calorie intake decreased significantly both in intervention and control groups.


This project began with introducing a new culture of health management in schools on one side and with increasing awareness of the importance of obesity prevention and treatment. The support of authorities for this type of action is very important to guarantee its sustainability.

Keywords: adolescent; intervention; obesity; schools


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About the article

Corresponding author: Sihem Ben Fredj, Department of Epidemiology, University Hospital Farhat Hached, Sousse, Tunisia, E-mail: sihem-benfredj@hotmail.com

Received: 2015-04-22

Accepted: 2015-07-02

Published Online: 2015-09-11

Published in Print: 2017-04-01

Citation Information: International Journal of Adolescent Medicine and Health, Volume 29, Issue 2, 20150035, ISSN (Online) 2191-0278, ISSN (Print) 0334-0139, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/ijamh-2015-0035.

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