Exploring The Daily Mile and its impact on childhood obesity

Article title: Effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of The Daily Mile on childhood weight outcomes and wellbeing: a cluster randomised control trial.

Professor Emma Frew and researchers at the University of Birmingham (Institute of Applied Health Research) and Birmingham Services for Education evaluated the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of The Daily Mile programme in 40 primary schools across Birmingham, funded by Birmingham City Council.

They measured BMI, body fat percentage, fitness, quality of life, wellbeing and attainment in pupils in school years 3 and 5, comparing schools participating in The Daily Mile to those not (control group). They also evaluated the cost effectiveness of the initiative.

They found that The Daily Mile did not have a clinically important effect on BMI overall, but it did have a modest effect on BMI in girls with consistent findings for body fat percentage. The intervention was found to be highly cost effective for girls, but not for boys, although these findings need to be interpreted with caution due to high levels of missing quality of life data. Fitness, wellbeing and quality of life increased slightly in The Daily Mile group but again suffered from a high level of missing data.

They concluded The Daily Mile has a modest impact on body mass index, and is potentially highly cost effective in girls; but needs to be part of a comprehensive prevention programme to address childhood obesity.

Read the full article online or download the paper, published in the International Journal of Obesity on 28th January 2020.