Early intervention for childhood overweight: A randomized trial in general practice

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  • Lone Marie Larsen
  • Niels Thomas Hertel
  • Mølgaard, Christian
  • René Depont Christensen
  • Steffen Husby
  • Dorte Ejg Jarbøl

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the effect of two intervention modalities concerning overweight and obesity among children in general practice.

DESIGN: Prospective randomized controlled trial.

SETTING: A total of 60 general practices in the former County of Funen, Denmark.

SUBJECTS: Overweight children, identified by International Obesity Task Force criteria, aged 5-9 years.

INTERVENTION: Model 1 with health consultations in general practice during a two-year period or Model 2, an educational programme for the children and their families in addition to the health consultations.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Change in body mass index (BMI) z-score in order to compare the results, independent of gender- and age-related changes over time.

RESULTS: A total of 80 children were recruited with 35 and 45 children allocated to Model 1 and Model 2, respectively. No significant differences were found in the change in BMI z-score (SDS) between the two groups. A decrease in the mean BMI z-score from baseline to study end of -0.20 (95%CI -0.38 to -0.01) in Model 1 and -0.26 (95%CI -0.44 to -0.09) in Model 2, respectively, was detected. The majority of the participants (2/3) continued in the study for more than one year in both models, with a mean of 12 consultations in general practice.

CONCLUSION: In this particular setting the two intervention strategies against overweight and obesity did not differ significantly with regard to change in BMI z-scores.

Original languageEnglish
JournalScandinavian Journal of Primary Health Care
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)184-190
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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