Multidisciplinary lifestyle intervention in children and adolescents - results of the GRIT (Growth, Resilience, Insights, Thrive) pilot study

Hannah Mayr, Felicity Cohen, Elisabeth Isenring, Stijn Soenen, Therese Fossheim, Skye Marshall

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractResearch

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Background and Aims: Behavioural risk factors for the development of chronic diseases in children and adolescents include poor dietary quality and sedentary lifestyle. The aim of this study was to determine the effect of a real-word multidisciplinary intervention on cardiorespiratory fitness, dietary quality, and self-concept in sedentary children and adolescents aged 9 to 15 years.
Methods: Project GRIT (Growth, Resilience, Insights, Thrive) was a pilot single-arm intervention study. The 12-week intervention involved up to three outdoor High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) running sessions per week, five healthy eating education or cooking demonstration sessions, and one mindful eating and Emotional Freedom Technique psychology session. Outcome measures at baseline and 12-week follow-up included maximal graded cardiorespiratory testing, the Australian Child and Adolescent Eating Survey, and Piers-Harris 2 children’s self-concept scale. Per protocol analyses were performed.
Findings: Of the 38 recruited participants (median age 11.4 years, 53% male), 24 (63%) completed the 12-week intervention. Dropouts had significantly higher diet quality and tended to be more fit at baseline. Completers attended a median 58% of the 33 exercise sessions, 60% of the dietary sessions, and 42% attended the psychology session. Absolute VO2peak at 12 weeks increased by 96.2±239.4 mL/min (p=0.06). As a percentage contribution to energy intake, participants increased their intake of healthy core foods by 6.0±11.1% (p=0.02), and reduced intake of confectionary (p=0.003) and baked products (p=0.02). Participants significantly improved self-concept with an increase in average T-Score for the total scale by 2.8±5.3 (p=0.02) and the ‘physical appearance and attributes’ domain scale by median 4.0 [IQR 0.5-4.0] (p=0.02).
Discussion/Conclusion: The 12-week GRIT pilot indicated promising results; the group-based multidisciplinary lifestyle intervention for children and adolescents improved dietary quality and self-concept. Future practice and research should focus on providing sustainable multidisciplinary lifestyle interventions for children and adolescents aiming to improve long-term health and wellbeing.

Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2019
EventThe 5th Annual Youth Health Conference: Owning Future Change - Pullman on the Park, Melbourne, Australia
Duration: 27 Nov 201929 Nov 2019
Conference number: 5


ConferenceThe 5th Annual Youth Health Conference
Abbreviated titleAAAH 2019
OtherThe Australian Association for Adolescent Health warmly invites you to Pullman on the Park, Melbourne for the 5th annual Youth Health Conference.

In 2019 we continue our underpinning theme of Owning Future Change – we all have a part to play in taking forward the youth health agenda. Three important sub-themes, Complexity, Diversity and Empowerment, will encourage us to exchange ideas, make connections and inspire action. It is up to us to ensure that young people today and in the future are heard and that their health and wellbeing is a priority for governments around the world.

Building on the energy and commitment to youth health with each successive conference, we have expanded this year to three full days with the Youth Forum for 12-25 year olds, built into the program. We will be showcasing the very best research and innovative programs from across Australia and beyond. We welcome international abstracts and delegates as we continue to thrive as a large and diverse group of professionals and young people.

The conference agenda has a range of formats for sharing ideas and giving a voice to young people and those who are passionate about working across the disciplines of adolescent health.
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