Table 1

Interventions and approaches for which evidence exists of effectiveness for non-communicable disease (NCD) prevention among children and young people* by life-course stage or socioecological platform

Description of interventions and approachesSource of evidence
Prenatal: maternal micronutrient supplementation; prevents low birth weight, which is associated with subsequent NCD riskHaider and Bhutta45
Infancy: breast feeding and appropriate complementary feeding, which reduce later overweight, type 2 diabetes and possibly high cholesterol and blood pressureVictora et al 26
School-based: school policies and multicomponent interventions targeting behaviour risk factors at a young age, including school curricula on healthy eating, physical activity and body image, improvement in the nutritional quality of food supplied in schools, provision of free or subsidised fruit and vegetables, health promotion strategies and parent supportWaters et al 46
Knai et al 47
Baird et al 48
Rawal et al 49
Dudley et al 50
Liao et al 51
Seo and Sa52
Household: family interventions that support parents to model healthy behaviours to their childrenFoxcroft and Tsertsvadze53
Saraf et al 54
Household: engagement of parents in supporting and encouraging their children’s physical activity; monitoring or regulating screen-timePereira and Palmeira55
Biddle et al 56
Across platforms: interventions combined in schools, homes, primary care clinics, childcare settings and within communities; these are more effective than stand-alone interventionsWang et al 57
Oude Luttikhuis et al 58
Brand et al 59
Adolescence: use of information and communications technologies (computer and web-based interventions) to improve eating behaviours and/or diet-related physical outcomesChen and Wilkosz60
Hamel and Robbins61
Policy and community action: campaigns against tobacco consumption that are based on theory and formative research and delivered with a reasonable intensity over an extended period of timeCarson et al 62
Brinn et al 63
Across platforms: universal family-based and school-based substance abuse prevention, including tobacco use programmesFoxcroft and Tsertsvadze53
Thomas et al 64
Thomas et al 65
Emmers et al 66
Policy and legislative action: government policies to control tobacco and alcohol through taxation, marketing and sales restrictions, bans in public places, and minimum age for purchaseWHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control67
WHO Global Report68
Policy and legislative action: pricing policies, subsidies for healthy foods; taxation and control of marketing of unhealthy foods and beverages, including food labelling, and social marketing campaignsHillier-Brown et al 69
  • *Based on two U UNICEF literature reviews undertaken in 2015–2016.