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Copenhagen School Child Intervention Study


Copenhagen School Child Intervention Study

In 2001 an interdisciplinary controlled research project named Copenhagen School Child Intervention Study (CoSCIS) was started.

CoSCIS aims to examine the impact of a doubling of the lessons in physical education (PE) and health education for children in terms of physical and mental health, motor function, and well-being:

  • How are physical, mental and social conditions related to health?
  • How can health be improved through a qualitative improvement and quantitative increase in physical activity and health education?
  • How can health promotion in collaboration between local schools and research institutions be implemented?

The intervention in the schools of Ballerup Municipality consisted of:

  • Increasing the number of PE lessons from nursery school (0 class) to 3rd class from 2 to 4 lessons pr week.
  • Extra lessons in Health education.
  • Post education of the PE teachers.
  • Renewal of sports and play ground facilities at the intervention schools.

Schools in the municipality of Kastrup-Tårnby served as a control group.
The project followed all children from the two municipalities starting in preschool in 2001. The first measurements, baseline measurement, were made in 2001/2002. First follow-up was carried out while the children attended 3rd class in 2004/2005. A second follow-up was carried out while the children attended 7th grade. This follow up was conducted in autumn 2008 and focus was primarily on physical activity, fitness, diet and physiological health parameters.

Published results from the two first data collections in CoSCIS:

  • There are large gender differences in particular body composition and physical fitness in which the girls in the age of 6 have a higher skinfold value than boys (but not higher BMI), lower activity and lower fitness. In contrast, girls had significantly better insulin sensitivity than boys.
  • There is no "cluster effect" in cardiovascular disease risk factors in 6-years old children, but this is very evident when they become 9-year old
  • The difference between intervention and control municipality in the development of the measured parameters were small or non-existent after 3 years of intervention. We found a significantly better development in the intervention group in the values of fasting glucose, waist-hip circumference ratio and diastolic blood pressure. The boys in the intervention group had significantly better changes in insulin levels than boys in the control group.
  • This positive development did not occurred for the group of obese children, where we didn’t see any difference between the intervention and control group.
  • The girls from the intervention municipality had a higher increase in bone mineral content in the for-arm compared to the girls from the control group.
  • When stratifying the 3rd grade children according to their CVD risk factor profile (composite CVD risk score) and comparing the highest and the lowest risk quartiles in the 3rd grade children, we found a significant difference between the high and the low risk groups for all the traditional CVD risk factors and C- reactive protein (CRP), whereas glucose, TNF-α and IL-6 only showed small and inconsistent differences.
  • Again, comparing the highest and the lowest risk quartiles in the 3rd grade children strong associations were found between fitness, fatness and CVD risk score, but there were no associations between these variables and TNF-α and IL-6. CRP was associated with fitness, fatness and CVD risk score, but only weakly with IL-6

Data from the last collection has not yet been analyzed.

Contact: Lars Bo Andersen

Link to the report published by The National Board of Health


Last Updated 16.08.2016