Rationale and design of the school-based SI! Program to face obesity and promote health among Spanish adolescents: A cluster-randomized controlled trial

Rodrigo Fernandez-Jimenez, Gloria Santos-Beneit, Anna Tresserra-Rimbau, Patricia Bodega, Mercedes de Miguel, Amaya de Cos-Gandoy, Carla Rodríguez, Vanesa Carral, Xavier Orrit, Domènech Haro, Isabel Carvajal, Borja Ibañez, Carolina Storniolo, Mónica Domènech, Ramon Estruch, Juan Miguel Fernández-Alvira, Rosa Maria Lamuela-Raventós, Valentin Fuster

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Unhealthy habits in adolescents are increasing at an alarming rate. The school offers a promising environment in which to implement effective preventive strategies to improve adolescents' lifestyle behaviors. The SI! Program is a multilevel multicomponent school-based health-promotion intervention aimed at all stages of compulsory education in Spain. We present the study design of the SI! Program for Secondary Schools, targeting adolescents aged 12 to 16 years. Aim: The main goal of this study is to evaluate the impact of the SI! Program educational intervention on adolescent lifestyle behaviors and health parameters. Methods: The study was designed as a cluster-randomized controlled intervention trial and enrolled 1326 adolescents from 24 public secondary schools in Spain, together with their parents/caregivers. Schools and their students were randomly assigned to the intervention group (the SI! curriculum-based educational program over 2 or 4 academic years) or to the control group (usual curriculum). The primary endpoint will be the change from baseline at 2-year and 4-year follow-up in the composite Ideal Cardiovascular Health (ICH) score, consisting of four health behaviors (body mass index, dietary habits, physical activity, and smoking) and three health factors (blood pressure, total cholesterol, and glucose). Secondary endpoints will include 2-year and 4-year changes from baseline in ICH score subcomponents, the Fuster-BEWAT health scale, adiposity markers (waist circumference and body composition), polyphenol and carotenoid intake, and emotion management. Discussion: The overarching goal of the SI! Program is to instill healthy behaviors in children and adolescents that can be sustained into adulthood. The SI! Program for Secondary School is a comprehensive health-promotion intervention targeting 12–16-year-old adolescents and their immediate environment. The present study addresses the optimal timing and impact of the educational intervention on health in adolescence.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)27-40
Number of pages14
JournalAmerican Heart Journal
StatePublished - Sep 2019


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