School-Based Interventions in Low Socioeconomic Settings to Reduce Obesity Outcomes among Preschoolers: A Scoping Review

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© 2019 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. Pediatric obesity continues to grow globally, specifically in low-socioeconomic rural areas. Strategies that combat pediatric obesity have not yet been fully determined. While the implementation of some interventions in preschool (ages 2-5) populations have demonstrated successful results, others have proven to be inconclusive and less have focused specifically on low socioeconomic populations. This scoping review aims to examine the literature to study the effectiveness of the school-based interventions in low socioeconomic settings on adiposity-related outcomes among preschoolers. PubMed/MEDLINE and EBSCO (ERIC (Education Resource Information Center) and Food Science Source) were used to conduct the search strategy. A total of 15 studies were assessed that met the inclusion criteria: Studies that included school-based interventions; reported adiposity-related data; targeting preschoolers (2 to 5 years old) in rural/low socioeconomic/underserved/areas. Interventions were then described as successful or inconclusive based on the primary outcome. Nine out of the fifteen studies were labeled as successful, which had a reduction in adiposity-related outcomes (BMI (body mass index), BMI z-score, waist circumference, skinfold, percent body fat). Current evidence, although scarce, suggest that obesity outcomes can be targeted in low socioeconomic settings through school interventions with a multicomponent approach (nutrition and physical activity) and the inclusion of parents. Further research is needed to determine effective interventions, their efficacy, and their long-term outcomes.