Navigation Links
Group treatment may help children achieve healthier weights
Date:12/18/2008

GAINESVILLE, Fla. Group-based treatment programs may effectively combat childhood obesity in rural communities, according to a new University of Florida study.

Children who participated in one of two group programs family-based or parent-only were less overweight compared with children in a control group. The findings appear in the December issue of Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine.

The UF study is the first to assess the effectiveness of a child weight-management program in a real-world, community-based setting for families in rural areas.

"Given the scope and seriousness of obesity in America and the limited access to services for children in rural settings, there is a pressing need for programs that help rural families adopt healthy dietary habits and increase physical activity," said David Janicke, Ph.D., lead investigator and an assistant professor in the UF College of Public Health and Health Professions' department of clinical and health psychology.

More than 16 percent of rural children are obese compared with 14 percent of urban children. Factors contributing to the disparity include greater rates of poverty in rural areas and geographical barriers that limit access to medical care, healthy foods and facilities for physical activity.

The study involved 93 children and their parents from four rural counties in Florida. The children were between the ages of 8 and 14 and had a body mass index, or BMI, above the 85th percentile for age and sex, based on growth charts from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Children with BMI scores above the 85th percentile are considered overweight or obese. Families were randomly assigned to one of three four-month treatment groups: family-based, parent-only or a control group made up of families on the treatment wait list.

On average, children in the weight-management programs experienced greater decreases in BMI scores compared with children in the control group six months after treatment. Compared with their pre-treatment levels, children in weight-management groups were 4 percent less overweight, and children in the control group were about 3 percent more overweight at the end of the six-month period.

Although the weight changes may appear modest, they are in line with the researchers' goal of helping children make gradual changes to their diet and lifestyles. In addition, the children's weight loss approached the amount necessary for improvements in lipid and blood sugar levels, according to previous research.

"When working with children it's important to introduce lifestyle changes slowly and make it fun, otherwise they may become resistant," Janicke said. "Making big changes in their diets could lead to unhealthy habits like skipping meals, eating disorders or weight gain."

The weight control programs were conducted at Cooperative Extension Service offices. Participants received instruction on healthy diet choices and children were given pedometers and encouraged to gradually increase their daily steps. Families and group leaders worked together to set individualized dietary goals based on the children's progress and preferences.

In the parent-only treatment group, parents received training on nutrition, exercise and behavior management strategies for their children. In the family-based group, parents and children met separately but in simultaneous groups. While the parents received instruction, the children reviewed their progress, participated in a physical activity and learned how to prepare a healthy snack.

"In the group setting families can talk with each other about barriers to making changes, offer suggestions and hold each other accountable," Janicke said.

While the parent-only and family-based groups were effective, the parent-only format offers potential cost benefits, the researchers say. Parent-only programs require fewer resources, such as staff, space and materials. Parents may also take more responsibility for teaching healthier lifestyle habits and implementing the changes at home. In addition, children can avoid a possible stigma among their peers associated with attending weight-management programs and it may be easier for parents to attend the sessions without their children. Participants in the parent-only group attended 74 percent of the sessions compared with 63 percent attendance in the family-based group.

The UF study also has implications for the delivery of community-based treatment programs for children, particularly the use of Cooperative Extension Service offices, which exist in nearly every county in the United States, Janicke said.

"The Cooperative Extension Service network offers a unique setting in that it provides the infrastructure and stature within rural communities to support preventive services for families," he said.

Child weight-management studies in real-world settings like the one led by Janicke are extremely valuable and much too rare, writes Thomas Robinson, M.D., the Irving Schulman, M.D. endowed professor in child health at Stanford University, in an editorial accompanying the article on the UF study.

"We need to focus new energy on finding solutions to childhood obesity, not just documenting the problem," Robinson wrote. "This is the most direct way to generate the high-quality data needed to establish an evidence base for effectively and efficiently managing pediatric obesity."


'/>"/>

Contact: Jill Pease
jpease@phhp.ufl.edu
352-273-5816
University of Florida
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Fredericka Roper of Atlanta Honored as Healthy Hero By the AMERIGROUP Foundation
2. Cerebrio, LLC, an Omnicom Group Company, and MedLink International Undertake an Exclusive Development and Marketing Arrangement
3. The ASCII Group Partners with Association Health Programs to Counter Rising Health Insurance Costs
4. The Hanover Insurance Group Foundation Donates $20,000 to American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund
5. Allscripts Electronic Health Record Ranked No. 1 by Physician Groups in KLAS Year-End Report
6. Cadient Group Expands Award-Winning Capabilities with Key New Hires
7. AMERIGROUP Files Shelf Registration Statement
8. Rotary Action Group Helps Launch Major Public-Private HIV Prevention Initiative in Kenya
9. Great Lakes Radiologists to Join Aurora Medical Group
10. The Help Groups Teddy Bear Ball Salutes Sony Pictures Television President, Steve Mosko and Features Performance by Kenny Loggins
11. Millennium Research Group Analyst Available to Comment on FDAs Premarket Approval Recommendation of Genzyme Biosurgerys Synvisc Single-Injection Product for the Knee
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... ... Bruton Memorial Library on June 21 due to a possible lice infestation, as reported by ... lice: the parasite’s ability to live away from a human host, and to infest common ... the event that lice have simply gotten out of control. , As lice are a ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... 2016 , ... On Friday, June 10, Van Mitchell, Secretary of the Maryland ... iHire in recognition of their exemplary accomplishments in worksite health promotion. , The Wellness ... & Wellness Symposium at the BWI Marriott in Linthicum Heights. iHire was one of ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... ... Marcy was in a crisis. Her son James, eight, was out of control. Prone to ... , “When something upset him, he couldn’t control his emotions,” remembers Marcy. “If there ... my other children and say he was going to kill them. If we were ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... 24, 2016 , ... Topical BioMedics, Inc, makers of Topricin and MyPainAway Pain Relief Products, join ... wage raise to $12 an hour by 2020 and then adjusting it yearly to increase ... of the minimum wage, assure the wage floor does not erode again, and make future ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... , ... June 24, 2016 , ... ... actively feeding the Frederick area economy by obtaining investment capital for emerging technology ... past 2½ years that have already resulted in more than a million dollars ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... Research and Markets has announced the addition of the ... to their offering. ... World Market for Companion Diagnostics covers the world market for ... report includes the following: , World IVD ... (N. America, EU, ROW), 2015-2020 , World IVD Companion ...
(Date:6/24/2016)...  Arkis BioSciences, a leading innovator in the ... cerebrospinal fluid treatments, today announced it has secured ... led by Innova Memphis, followed by Angel Capital ... Arkis, new financing will accelerate the commercialization of ... of its in-licensed Endexo® technology. ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 ... "Pharmaceutical Excipients Market by Type (Organic Chemical (Sugar, ... Formulation (Oral, Topical, Coating, Parenteral) - Global Forecast to ... The global pharmaceutical excipients market ... at a CAGR of 6.1% in the forecast period ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: