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BACKGROUND: Non-communicable disease (NCD) is increasing rapidly in low and middle-income countries (LMIC), and is associated with tobacco use, unhealthy diet and physical inactivity. There is little evidence for up-scaled interventions at the population level to reduce risk in LMIC. METHODS: The Community Interventions for Health (CIH) program was a population-scale community intervention study with comparator population group undertaken in communities in China, India, and Mexico, each with populations between 150,000-250,000. Culturally appropriate interventions were delivered over 18-24 months. Two independent cross-sectional surveys of a stratified sample of adults aged 18-64 years were conducted at baseline and follow-up. RESULTS: A total of 6,194 adults completed surveys at baseline, and 6,022 at follow-up. The proportion meeting physical activity recommendations decreased significantly in the control group (C) (44.1 to 30.2%), but not in the intervention group (I) (38.0 to 36.1%), p<0.001. Those eating ≥ 5 portions of fruit and vegetables daily decreased significantly in C (19.2 to 17.2%), but did not change in I (20.0 to 19.6%,), p=0.013. The proportion adding salt to food was unchanged in C (24.9 to 25.3%) and decreased in I (25.9 to 19.6%), p<0.001. Prevalence of obesity increased in C (8.3 to 11.2%), with no change in I (8.6 to 9.7%,) p=0.092. Concerning tobacco, for men the difference-in-difference analysis showed that the reduction in use was significantly greater in I compared to C (p=0.014). CONCLUSIONS: Up-scaling known health promoting interventions designed to reduce the incidence of NCD in whole communities in LMIC is feasible, and has measurable beneficial outcomes on risk factors for NCD, namely tobacco use, diet, and physical inactivity.

Original publication

DOI

10.1371/journal.pone.0120941

Type

Journal article

Journal

Plos one

Publication Date

2015

Volume

10

Keywords

Adult, China, Cross-Sectional Studies, Diet, Eating, Feeding Behavior, Female, Fruit, Humans, India, Male, Mexico, Middle Aged, Motor Activity, Obesity, Overweight, Risk Factors, Salts, Tobacco Use, Vegetables