Project PANK: Rationale, study protocol and baseline results of a multidisciplinary school based intervention in children with cardiovascular and metabolic risk factors

Abstract Aims: Cardiovascular disease risk factors occur more frequently in children with obesity. Project PANK is a multidisciplinary school-based intervention lasting 6 months to improve BMI z-score, waist circumference (WC), waist-to-height ratio (WHtR), blood pressure (BP), nutrition, physical activity (PA), sedentary behaviour (SB), cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF), glucose, cholesterol, and triglycerides (TG). Methods/DesignA total of 77 children (7-10 years) were recruited from an urban school. The protocol includes PA and SB individual meetings for children/parents; increasing school exercise; PA and SB lessons for children; A goal in the number of steps/day to accomplish in and after school. In nutrition, the protocol includes three individual meetings for children/parents and six lessons for children. ResultsPositive associations were found between the BMI Z-score, WC, and WHtR with TG; the BMI Z-score and WHtR with glucose; the light PA time and HDL-C; the vigorous and moderate-to-vigorous PA with CRF; the caloric intake and lipids with LDL-C, BMI z-score, WC, and WHtR. A negative association was found between CRF and TG. ConclusionBaseline results stress the importance of multidisciplinary school-based interventions. We hypothesized that PANK will improve blood variables, anthropometric measures, and BP, by changing food intake, enhancing PA and CRF, and decreasing SB.