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Medical News & Perspectives
January 8, 2014

Researchers Describe Novel Interventions to Improve Healthy Lifestyle Choices in Diverse Settings

JAMA. 2014;311(2):125. doi:10.1001/jama.2013.284832

Dallas—Late-breaking clinical trials involving interventions to promote healthy lifestyles in Colombia, reduced sodium consumption in rural China, and weight loss in Kentucky were among those showcased during the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions held here in November.

The Colombian trial found positive results at 36-month follow-up of a 2009 educational intervention using Sesame Street characters to introduce healthy lifestyle options to preschool children aged 3 to 5 years. The initial 5-month intervention involved 1216 children, 928 parents, and 120 teachers at 14 preschool facilities in Bogotá. Children at 7 of the schools were given classroom education and playful activities that included Sesame Workshop Healthy Habits storybooks, posters, videos, games, and songs. Their parents participated in 3 workshops and received weekly notes containing positive health messages to share with their children and their teachers took part in 3 centralized training sessions and received a teacher’s guide. Participants at the other 7 schools received the usual curriculum.