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Prevention of childhood obesity: issues on the evaluation of interventions
  1. Marina Cuttini1,
  2. Mauricio L Barreto2
  1. 1Unità di Epidemiologia, Direzione Sanitaria, Ospedale Pediatrico Bambino Gesù, Rome, Italy
  2. 2Instituto de Saúde Coletiva, Federal University of Bahia, Salvador, Brazil
  1. Correspondence to Marina Cuttini, Unità di Epidemiologia, Direzione Sanitaria, Ospedale Pediatrico Bambino Gesù, Piazza S. Onofrio 4, Rome 00165, Italy; marina.cuttini{at}opbg.net

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Two complementary studies by Evans et al reported in this issue of the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health deal with the quality of packed lunches provided by families to UK schoolchildren. The first surveyed the type of foods and nutrient content of packed lunches, finding that they largely fall behind the standards issued by the UK government for the meals to be served by schools.1 The second evaluated through a well-designed cluster randomised controlled trial the effectiveness of an educational intervention (SMART Lunch Box) to improve the quality of packed meals.2

Ultimately, the survey and subsequent proposed intervention aimed at preventing overweight and its adverse health consequences: an issue that has acquired prominence at the light of the twofold to threefold increase in the prevalence of childhood overweight reported in industrialised and even developing countries over the past three decades.3 Although the most recent reports seem to indicate that a …

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