Long-term sustainability of a physical activity and nutrition intervention for rural adults with or at risk of metabolic syndrome.
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OBJECTIVE: To determine longer-term (18-month) sustainability of a six-month physical activity and nutrition intervention for 50-69-year-olds with or at risk of metabolic syndrome residing in a rural Australian community.
METHODS: Participants (n=151) were followed-up at 12 and 18 months post-intervention. Changes in nutrition behaviours (fat and fibre barometer); physical activity behaviours (IPAQ); anthropometry (waist-hip ratio, weight, BMI), blood pressure, blood parameters (triglycerides, glucose, LDL-, HDL-, non-HDL, total-cholesterol) were analysed using t-tests and repeated measures ANOVA.
RESULTS: Across three time points (6, 12 and 18 months) marginal decrease was observed for waist circumference (p=0.001), a modest increase was observed for diastolic blood pressure (p=0.010) and other outcome measures remained stable.
CONCLUSION: Maintenance and ongoing improvement of health behaviours in the longer-term is challenging. Future studies must look for ways to embed interventions into communities so they are sustainable and investigate new approaches to reduce the risk of chronic disease. Implications for public health: Metabolic syndrome is a major health issue in Australia and worldwide. Early identification and management are required to prevent the progression to chronic disease. This 18-month follow-up showed that outcomes measures remained relatively stable; however, there is a need to investigate opportunities for embedded community interventions to support long-term health behaviour change.
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