A systematic review of the effectiveness of school-based obesity prevention programmes for First Nations, Inuit and Métis youth in Canada.


First Nations, Inuit and Métis (FNIM) youth are disproportionately affected by obesity and represent known a high-risk group in Canada. School-based prevention programmes may have the potential to effectively influence obesity-related health behaviours (i.e. healthy eating and physical activity) among this population. We conducted a systematic review of nine electronic databases (2003-2014) to identify studies that describe school-based programmes that have been developed to improve obesity-related health behaviours and outcomes among FNIM youth in Canada. The objectives of this review were to identify and evaluate the effectiveness of these programmes and assess the strength of the methodologies used to evaluate them. Fifteen studies, representing seven distinct interventions, met our inclusion criteria. The majority of these programmes did not result in significant improvements in outcomes related to obesity, healthy eating, or physical activity among FNIM youth. The studies varied in design rigour and use of evaluation activities. The lack of literature on effective school-based programmes for FNIM youth in Canada that target obesity-related outcomes highlights a priority area for future intervention development, evaluation and dissemination within the peer-reviewed literature. Further research is needed on interventions involving Métis and Inuit youth, secondary school-aged FNIM youth and FNIM youth living in urban settings.