Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

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




Journal article


PLoS One

Publication Date





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