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New study shows effectiveness of MEND program in prevention and treatment of pediatric obesity
Date:2/1/2010

LOS ANGELESFeb 1, 2010 --Ground-breaking results from a study to evaluate the effectiveness of the MEND Program (Mind, Exercise, Nutrition, Do it!), a multi-component community-based childhood obesity intervention (www.mendcentral.org), are published today in the US journal Obesity (www.nature.com/oby/journal/v18/n1s/abs/oby2009433a.html). The results coincide with the launch of Michelle Obama's initiative to reduce childhood obesity announced in the State of the Union speech.

The independent study conducted by a team at University College London Institute of Child Health (ICH) demonstrates the success of the weight management program MEND for overweight and obese children and their families. The MEND Program supports recent international recommendations calling for pediatric obesity programs to involve the whole family and include nutrition education, behavior modification and promotion of physical activity.

116 children aged between 8 and 12 years took part in the study, which involved attending a nine week MEND program, followed by the provision of 12 weeks of free family swimming between January 2005 and January 2007. All lost weight, lowered their BMI (Body Mass Index) and waist circumference, and improved their self esteem and physical activity levels. Their general health, including cardiovascular fitness, also improved.

Participants were randomly assigned to start the program immediately (intervention group), or receive the intervention six months later (control group). Waist circumference, BMI, body composition, physical activity level, sedentary activities, cardiovascular fitness and self esteem were assessed at baseline, and again at six and 12 months. All measures improved at six months and were sustained at 12 months. A key strength of the MEND Program was its acceptability to familiesall the children who start
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Contact: Teresa Earle
teresa.earle@mendcentral.org
310-529-7718
MEND Foundation
Source:Eurekalert

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