This Evidence Check was used to inform the program review and refresh of the ‘Live Life Well @ School’ program as part of the NSW Healthy Children Initiative. It aimed to discover the effectiveness of obesity prevention programs for children delivered in primary school settings. It also examined how best to implement them, to maximise the number of children participating and the overall impact of the programs.

Eighteen studies were found to address the question of effectiveness, finding evidence for programs focused on nutrition, physical activity or a combination of them (sometimes with additional components); school food service and environments; and active travel strategies. The studies addressing this question were judged to be of moderate to critically low quality.

Thirty-two studies were found to address the question of implementation, finding evidence for strategies involving audit and feedback; continuous quality improvement; external funding; education materials; education meetings or outreach visits; local consensus processes; local opinion leaders; and tailored interventions to improve implementation of healthy canteen policies.


Hodder RK, Wolfenden L, O’Brien K, Barnes C, Brown A, Stacey F. The effectiveness of obesity prevention approaches targeting children aged 5–12 years delivered in primary schools: an Evidence Check rapid review brokered by the Sax Institute for the NSW Office of Preventive Health, 2019.

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