Nurse in charge: Jordi Fernández Blanco
Entity/Agency in charge: Direcció d’Atenció Primària Costa de Ponent (Institut Català de la Salut)
INFADIMED is a program conducted by professionals of primary health care nursing that promotes the Mediterranean diet among the pre-school and primary students with the objective of providing children with tools that allow them to decide what is more beneficial for their health. Unlike other nutritional education programs, INFADIMED has used an innovative transmission channel in this type of intervention: it has created a series of cartoons, with a main character that is in charge of telling the children about the benefits of a healthy lifestyle: Captain Vitamins, the new hero of the children.
During the three years of duration of the pilot program, 24 chapters were created – 6 per schoolyear –, from 3 to 9-year-olds. A total of 319 scholars, distributed among four schools ranging from ages 3 to 7, formed the intervention group INFADIMED, and a total of 889 children formed the control group. The prevalence of childhood excess weight (overweight + obesity) in Vilafranca del Penedès at the beginning of the study was of the 21.9%. After dividing the population under intervention, there was a control group with a prevalence of 20.8% of children with excess weight and an intervention group with a prevalence of the 22.9%. At the end of the program, three years later, the prevalence of childhood overweight increased 8.4 points (final percentage: 29.2%), while it descended 6.3 points in the intervention group (final percentage: 16.6%).
The program has not only had a positive impact on the prevalence of childhood overweight, but it has also helped to modify the eating habits among the participants in a healthy manner. The consumption of fruits and vegetables has increased in a considerable way. At the beginning of the program, an 83.7% of the population admitted consuming one piece of fruit per day, which was increased to 90.6% at the conclusion of the program. The increase in the consumption of a second portion of fruit per day was higher: the original 32.0% became a 72.1% at the end. The consumption of vegetables did not obtain such high scores, but they were still very positive: they went from 22.6% to 50.5% in the case of the second portion of raw or cooked vegetables. The increase in the consumption of nuts was also significative: at the beginning of the program, 23.8% of the participant students claimed that they consumed nuts 2 to 3 times per week. This figure increased almost 20 points, reaching a 43.3% at the end of the study. The advice on unnecessary food consumption had a positive impact, as the consumption of industrial pastries for breakfast and the daily consumption of sweets and candy among the INFADIMED population decreased almost by 50% in relation to the beginning of the intervention.
The document below is only available in CatalanINFADIMED Program