Date of Award


Document Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name

Masters of Science (Research)


Cork Institute of Technology

First Advisor

Dr. Con Burns

Second Advisor

Mr. Noel Collins


Introduction: School-based interventions aimed at reducing levels of overweight/ obesity among primary school children are inconclusive. There is a death of research which specifically targets children from lower socioeconomic backgrounds. The purpose of the current study is to assess the effectiveness of a nutrition and physical activity intervention 'Project Spraoi' on children attending a DEIS urban band one primary-school (lower socio-economic status) in Cork city, Ireland.

Methods: A health promotion intervention developed in collaboration with Project Energize, New Zealand was implemented and evaluated during the 2013/14 academic school year. One control and one intervention DEIS urban band one primary school from Cork city participated in the research. Data was collected from children in senior infant/ first class (control n = 20; intervention n = 35 mean age 6.6 ±0.6 years) and fourth class (control n =25; intervention n = 32mean age 9.8 ± 0.4 years) in each school. Pre and post intervention tests were, body mass index (BMI), percentage body fat (%BF), resting blood pressure, waist circumference, daily moderate to vigorous physical activity levels (MVPA), aerobic fitness, physical activity and nutritional knowledge questionnaire.

Results: Significant improvements were recorded in mean daily MVPA in both senior infant/ 1st class children from the intervention group between baseline (55.6 ± 14.1 mins/day) and follow up (69.5 ± 11.6 mins/day; p.05). Statistically significant improvements were recorded in the intervention school children in BMI, %BF, waist circumference and resting blood pressure. Nutritional knowledge increased significantly amongst the senior infant/ 1st class intervention group children from pre to post intervention (p

Conclusions: 'Project Spraoi' intervention positively impacted on markers of health among children attending a DEIS urban band one school in Cork city.

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