Effectiveness and promising behavior change techniques of interventions targeting energy balance related behaviors in children from lower socioeconomic environments: A systematic review

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This systematic review aims to summarize the evidence regarding the effectiveness of interventions targeting energy balance-related behaviors in children from lower socioeconomic environments and the applied behavior change techniques. The literature search was conducted in Cochrane, Embase, Psycinfo and Pubmed. Articles had to be published between January 2000 and September 2019. Studies were included that i) targeted dietary behavior, physical activity and/or sedentary behavior; ii) had a controlled trial design; iii) included children aged 9–12 years old; iv) focused on lower socioeconomic environments; and v) took place in upper-middle or high income countries. Two independent researchers extracted data, identified behavior change techniques using the Behavior Change Technique Taxonomy v1, and performed a methodological quality assessment using the quality assessment tool of the Effective Public Health Practice Project. We included 24 studies, of which one
received a high and three a moderate quality rating. Demonstration, practice and providing instructions on how to perform a behavior were the most commonly applied behavior change techniques. Seven studies reported significant beneficial intervention effects: five on physical activity, one on physical activity and sedentary behavior and one on dietary behavior. When comparing effective versus non-effective interventions, and comparing our review to previous reviews focusing on children from the general population, similar behavior
change techniques were applied. More high quality research is needed to evaluate the effectiveness of interventions and their behavior change techniques targeting children of low socioeconomic environments.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0237969
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number9 September 2020
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2020

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