The GENYAL study to childhood obesity prevention is a longitudinal, prospective study lasting five years that began in January 2017 under the auspices of the Dirección General de Centros de Educación Infantil, Primaria y Especial (General Directorate for Infant, Primary and Special Schools). It involves six schools in different parts of the Madrid Region (north, central and south), and a total of 221 children in their first and second years of primary education.
The main goal of the project is to design and validate a predictive model able to identify children likely to benefit most from actions aimed at reducing the risk of obesity and its complications, taking into account the genetic and environmental factors of influence at this time of life. All the children have been studied from a nutrigenetic point of view (measuring, anthropometric, dietetic, and health and social variables, and taking into account single nucleotide polymorphisms associated with childhood obesity), and all will undergo annual checks and assessments until the end of the study period. The participating schools were assigned to either the treatment or control arm, and those in the former received material designed by nutritionists for delivery to the children, their teachers, and their parents. Information is also provided to teachers and parents via talks, and to the children via workshops. The latter try to teach healthy food habits through play.
The second evaluation of schoolchildren was carried out during 2018. We have collected new valuable information about the evolution of children nutritional status as well as dietetic and physical activity habits. This data will allow to develop new nutrigenetic studies. Besides, schoolchildren, their parents and teachers have received new educative tools to improve their nutritional knowledge to prevent child obesity.