Physical activity to prevent obesity in young children: cluster randomised controlled trial

John J Reilly, L.A. Kelly, C. Montgomery, Avril Willliamson, Abigail Fisher, JH McColl, R. Conte, J.Y. Paton, S. Grant

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

325 Citations (Scopus)


Assesses whether a physical activity intervention reduces body mass index in young children. Used a cluster randomised controlled single blinded trial over 12 months. Measured body mass index, expressed as a standard deviation score relative to UK 1990 reference data. Secondary measures were objectively measured physical activity and sedentary behaviour; fundamental movement skills; and evaluation of the process. Group allocation had no significant effect on the primary outcome measure at six and 12 months or on measures of physical activity and sedentary behaviour by accelerometry. Children in the intervention group had significantly higher performance in movement skills tests than control children at six month follow-up (P=0.0027; 95% confidence interval 0.3 to 1.3) after adjustment for sex and baseline performance. Physical activity can significantly improve motor skills but did not reduce body mass index in young children in this trial.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1041-1044
Number of pages4
JournalBritish Medical Journal
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2006


  • physical activity
  • obesity
  • young children
  • motor skills


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