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A pilot study with early adolescents: dealing with diet, tobacco and air pollution using practical experiences and biological markers

Authors
  • Marabelli, Chiara
  • Munarini, Elena
  • Lina, Micaela
  • Mazza, Roberto
  • Boffi, Roberto
  • De Marco, Cinzia
  • Ruprecht, Ario
  • Angellotti, Giorgia
  • Veronese, Chiara
  • Pozzi, Paolo
  • Bruno, Eleonora
  • Gargano, Giuliana
  • Cavalleri, Adalberto
  • Garrone, Giulia
  • Berrino, Franco
Type
Published Article
Journal
Multidisciplinary Respiratory Medicine
Publisher
BioMed Central
Publication Date
Dec 01, 2017
Volume
12
Issue
1
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1186/s40248-017-0111-6
Source
Springer Nature
Keywords
License
Green

Abstract

BackgroundTobacco use and the Western diet are two of the most important and investigated topics in relation to adolescents’ health. In addition, air pollution is a crucial subject for future generations. School is a key social environment that should promote healthy behaviors in children and adolescents. In this field many different programs have been conducted, with mixed results and effectiveness. Research data suggest that comprehensive and multicomponent approaches may have a greater effect on tobacco use and diet, especially when integrated into a community-wide approach.MethodsThe present work describes a multi-area pilot study called “La Scuola della Salute” (the School of Health) with a focus on the methodological aspects of the intervention. In our study we assessed different web-based and practical experiences related to adolescents’ smoking and dietary behaviors and awareness of smoke-related air pollution. Furthermore, to make adolescents more conscious of smoking and dietary behaviors, we conducted experiential workshops that addressed smoking and environmental pollution, food education, and lifestyle. Teachers and school administrators were involved in the project.ResultsAt baseline we investigated dietary habits, tobacco use, and individual and social characteristics by means of lifestyle questionnaires. In addition, we collected anthropometric parameters and performance indicators such as exhaled carbon monoxide and urinary fructose to assess smoking and nutrition habits. At the end of the intervention lifestyle questionnaire and biological markers were collected again: knowledge about these topics was significantly improved, and the urinary fructose was able to estimate the levels of obesity in the classes.ConclusionsThe integrated approach, combined with the use of biological markers, could be an innovative approach to the promotion of healthy lifestyles among adolescents, but further research is needed.

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