Markus V. Nahas, Mauro V. G. de Barros, Maria Alice A. de Assis, Pedro C. Hallal, Alex A. Florindo and Lisandra Konrad
A cross-cultural, randomized study was proposed to observe the effects of a school-based intervention designed to promote physical activity and healthy eating among high school students in 2 cities from different regions in Brazil: Recife and Florianopolis. The objective of this article is to describe the methodology and subjects enrolled in the project.
Ten schools from each region were matched and randomized into intervention and control conditions. A questionnaire and anthropometry were used to collect data in the first and last month of the 2006 school year. The sample (n = 2155 at baseline; 55.7% females; 49.1% in the experimental group) included students 15 to 24 years, attending nighttime classes. The intervention focused on simple environmental/organizational changes, diet and physical activity education, and personnel training.
The central aspects of the intervention have been implemented in all 10 intervention schools. Problems during the intervention included teachers’ strikes in both sites and lack of involvement of the canteen owners in schools.
The Saude na Boa study provides evidence that public high schools in Brazil represent an important environment for health promotion. Its design and simple measurements increase the chances of it being sustained and disseminated to similar schools in Brazil.
Pedro C. Hallal, Luis Fernando Gomez, Diana C. Parra, Felipe Lobelo, Janeth Mosquera, Alex A. Florindo, Rodrigo S. Reis, Michael Pratt and Olga L. Sarmiento
To describe the lessons learned after 10 years of use of the International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ) in Brazil and Colombia, with special emphasis on recommendations for future research in Latin America using this instrument.
We present an analytical commentary, based on data from a review of the Latin American literature, as well as expert consultation and the authors' experience in administering IPAQ to over 43,000 individuals in Brazil and Colombia between 1998 and 2008.
Validation studies in Latin America suggest that the IPAQ has high reliability and moderate criteria validity in comparison with accelerometers. Cognitive interviews suggested that the occupational and housework sections of the long IPAQ lead to confusion among respondents, and there is evidence that these sections generate overestimated scores of physical activity. Because the short IPAQ considers the 4 physical activity domains altogether, people tend to provide inaccurate answers to it as well.
Use of the leisure-time and transport sections of the long IPAQ is recommended for surveillance and studies aimed at documenting physical activity levels in Latin America. Use of the short IPAQ should be avoided, except for maintaining consistency in surveillance when it has already been used at baseline.