HealthDay News — Achieving sustained lifestyle changes by implementing a health promotion program in preschools requires multidisciplinary teams, multidimensional educational programs, and multilevel interventions, according to an article published in the Jan. 25 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.
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.
“The school environment is a great area to introduce lifestyle interventions, because children are spending so much of their time there,” a coauthor said in a statement. “Our review, and previous studies, suggest that 4 to 5 years of age is the most favorable time to start a school-based intervention focused on healthy habits.”