Year : 2019  |  Volume : 2  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 52-57

Effect of Peer Education on Physical Activity and Nutrition among Iranian Adolescents

1 Department of Family Medicine, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Teheran, Iran
2 Department of Family Medicine; Department of Pediatric, Ziaeian Hospital, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Teheran, Iran
3 Department of Family Medicine; Department of Community Medicine, School of Medicine, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Teheran, Iran

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Gazal Sharietpanahi
Ziaeian Hospital, AbuzarStreet, Teheran
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/SHB.SHB_8_19

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Introduction: Due to the high prevalence of sedentary lifestyle and inappropriate nutrition among adolescents, the present study aimed to investigate the effect of peer-based education on physical activity and nutrition among adolescents. Methods: In a randomized field trial with control group, a total of 223 students with a mean age of 16.52 (0.9) years participated in the study. Students were randomly selected from four high schools of Tehran's 17th district, Iran, using the multistage clustered sampling method. Two females and two males high schools were randomly assigned as an intervention or a control group. After selecting peer educators, they were educated about nutrition and physical activity at two 90-min sessions. Then, peer educators were asked to educate their classmates. Data were collected using demographic, nutrition, and physical activity subscales of Health Promoting Lifestyle Profile-II before and 3 months after the intervention. Data were analyzed using analysis of covariance in SPSS version 24 (IBM Corp., Armonk, New York). Results: Peer-based education improved girl's physical activity mean scores (16.19 ± 4.07–19.74 ± 4.25, P > 0.001), but no statistically significant effect on their nutrition. No statistically significant effect was observed after intervention on the nutritional status and physical activity of the male students. Conclusion: Peer education seemed to be a good method to improve physical activity among female students, but not their nutrition. In addition, physical activity and nutrition of male students were not improved by the peer education. Therefore, the future research using multidisciplinary approach which targets family involvement, and changes in physical activity and school nutrition policies are needed.

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