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Special Collection - Free access to reviews

Prevention of obesity

Special Collection
The prevalence of obesity is increasing around the world, and has effects on short- and long-term functioning, health, and well-being. Obesity is therefore an international public health priority.
This Special Collection brings together a selection of Cochrane Reviews on general strategies for the prevention of obesity and weight gain, and interventions for increasing physical activity. The collection includes a Cochrane Review updated in December 2011 on the prevention of obesity in children.
The Cochrane Reviews in this collection have been prepared by the authors and editors from the Cochrane Consumers and Communication Group; Cochrane Heart Group; Cochrane Metabolic and Endocrine Disorders Group; Cochrane Public Health Group; Cochrane Schizophrenia Group; and Cochrane Tobacco Addiction Group.

General strategies

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Interventions for preventing obesity in children
Obesity prevention is an international public health priority. The prevalence of obesity and overweight is increasing in child populations throughout the world, impacting on short-term and long-term health. Obesity prevention strategies for children can change behaviour but effectiveness in terms of preventing obesity remains poorly understood. This review assesses the effectiveness of interventions designed to prevent obesity in childhood through healthy eating and physical activity policies, programs, and workforce development in children's settings.
Interventions to reduce weight gain in schizophrenia
Weight gain is common for people with schizophrenia and this has serious implications for health and well-being. This review assesses the effects of both pharmacological (excluding medication switching) and non-pharmacological strategies for reducing or preventing weight gain in people with schizophrenia.
Interventions for preventing weight gain after smoking cessation
Most people who stop smoking gain weight. There are some interventions that have been designed to reduce weight gain when stopping smoking. Some smoking cessation interventions may also limit weight gain although their effect on weight has not been reviewed. This review assesses the effect of: (1) interventions targeting post-cessation weight gain on weight change and smoking cessation, and (2) interventions designed to aid smoking cessation that may also plausibly affect weight on post-cessation weight change.

Exercise and physical activity

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Community wide interventions for increasing physical activity
Multi-strategic community-wide interventions for physical activity are increasingly popular, but their ability to achieve population-level improvements is unknown. This review evaluates the effects of community wide, multi-strategic interventions upon population levels of physical activity.
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School‐based physical activity programs for promoting physical activity and fitness in children and adolescents aged 6 to 18
The World Health Organization estimates that 1.9 million deaths worldwide are attributable to physical inactivity. Chronic diseases associated with physical inactivity include cancer, diabetes and coronary heart disease. This review aims to summarise the evidence of the effectiveness of school-based interventions in promoting physical activity and fitness in children and adolescents.
Interventions implemented through sporting organisations for increasing participation in sport
There is compelling scientific evidence that increased levels of physical activity can bring wide-ranging health benefits. These benefits can extend beyond physical health to include other positive impacts relating to mental health and personal development. The sport and recreation sector is viewed as a priority area for increasing rates of physical activity. Participation rates in organised sport have been shown to be lower in females and to decline with age, and are reduced in lower socio-economic and minority groups, including people from non-English speaking and Indigenous backgrounds. This review aims to determine the most effective interventions that sporting organisations can use to increase people's participation.
Interventions for promoting physical activity
Little is known about the effectiveness of strategies to enable people to achieve and maintain recommended levels of physical activity. This review assesses the effectiveness of interventions designed to promote physical activity in adults aged 16 years and over, not living in an institution.