(HealthDay)—A community-based scalable weight-management program correlates with significant reductions in overweight status in children, according to a study published online Sept. 17 in Pediatrics.
Gary D. Foster, Ph.D., from Temple University in Philadelphia, and colleagues assessed the effect of a scalable weight-management program in a cohort of 155 children (mean age, 11.3 years; body mass index [BMI] z-score, 2.23; percentage overweight, 72.5) and their parent/guardians. Ninety-two percent of the children were obese and 46.5 percent were in the ≥ 99th percentile for BMI.
The researchers found that the children experienced a significant 3.4 percent reduction in percentage overweight at six months. The percentage point reduction in percentage overweight was 4.3 for those younger than 13 years and 1.0 for those aged 13 or older. Greater changes in percentage overweight were seen for those who attended more face-to-face group sessions. Both children and parents reported significant improvements in child health-related quality of life.
"Our findings indicate that a scalable pediatric obesity intervention delivered in community-based facilities is feasible and results in clinically significant outcomes, including improvements in weight status, as well as health-related quality of life," the authors write. "Given that outcomes from school-based pediatric obesity interventions are variable and the most effective programs reside in tertiary care centers, this community-based program has the potential to address a yet unmet need for a feasible, scalable, and effective pediatric obesity treatment that can reach millions of children and teenagers."
Several authors disclosed financial ties to United Health Group.
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