Adolescents are largely invisible in health promotion intervention strategies. The Think, Eat and Move (TEAM) program is an eight-week healthy lifestyle program for 13- to 17-year-olds delivered throughout Central and Eastern Sydney. Participants complete weekly phone coaching sessions with a health professional that are complemented by weekly online learning sessions focussing on key healthy lifestyle topics. Topics include healthy eating, physical activity, screen time, sleep, mindfulness, and goal setting. A range of supporting resources and practical tools are also provided, and parents and carers are actively involved throughout the program.
Between September 2018 and December 2020, 128 participants completed the program. Of those 111 (87%) completed post-program measurements, and 17 (13%) completed 6-month follow-up measurements.
Female participants were more likely to complete post-program and 6-month follow-up measurements. Fifty-two percent of pre-program data collected was from female participants, 54% at post-program, and 88% at the 6-month follow-up. Similarly, retention was higher amongst participants whose parents reported home ownership before the program. Pre-program age was consistent across the data points.
Significant improvements were observed post-program for BMI (-1.06, p<0.001), BMI z-score (-0.2, p<0.001), fruit intake (Z=-4.9, p<0.001), vegetable intake (Z=-6.9, p<0.001), days meeting the physical activity guidelines (Z-6.6, p<0.001) and a range of other physical activity and eating behaviours.
A number of outcomes continued to reach significance for the participants who completed the 6-month follow-up. Compared to pre-program scores participants BMI and BMI z-score were reduced (-1.6, p<0.01 and -0.3, p<0.005 respectively), fruit and vegetable intakes were increased (-2.4, p<0.05 and -2.3, p<0.05 respectively) and days meeting the physical activity guidelines were increased (-2.5, p<0.05).
These results are limited by the challenges of long-term follow-up, however, this data suggests that the TEAM program is having a lasting impact on the weight status, physical activity habits, and eating habits of participating adolescents.