Lifestyle interventions in the treatment of childhood overweight: A meta-analytic review of randomized controlled trials

Department of Psychiatry, Washington University School of Medicine, MO 63110, USA.
Health Psychology (Impact Factor: 3.95). 10/2007; 26(5):521-32. DOI: 10.1037/0278-6133.26.5.521
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Evaluating the efficacy of pediatric weight loss treatments is critical.
This is the first meta-analysis of the efficacy of RCTs comparing pediatric lifestyle interventions to no-treatment or information/education-only controls.
Medline, PsycINFO, and Cochrane Controlled Trials Register.
Fourteen RCTs targetting change in weight status were eligible, yielding 19 effect sizes.
Standardized coding was used to extract information on design, participant characteristics, interventions, and results.
For trials with no-treatment controls, the mean effect size was 0.75 (k = 9, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.52-0.98) at end of treatment and 0.60 (k = 4, CI = 0.27-0.94) at follow-up. For trials with information/education-only controls, the mean ES was 0.48 (k = 4, CI = 0.13-0.82) at end of treatment and 0.91 (k = 2, CI = 0.32-1.50) at follow-up. No moderator effects were identified.
Lifestyle interventions for pediatric overweight are efficacious in the short term with some evidence for extended persistence. Future research is required to identify moderators and mediators and to determine the optimal length and intensity of treatment required to produce enduring changes in weight status.

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