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: 3.59). 10/2007; 26(5):521-32. DOI: 10.1037/0278-6133.26.5.521
Source: PubMed


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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    • "Not surprisingly, insurers and employers not yet covering intervention programs were interested in receiving statistics on the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of FBBG interventions. Data do exist regarding the effectiveness of FBBG programs for weight status improvement and improved psychosocial outcomes (Davis et al., 2013; Dreyer Gillette, Odar Stough, Best, Beck, & Hampl, 2014; Janicke et al., 2014; Lasikiewicz, Myrissa, Hoyland, & Lawton, 2014; Lowry, Sallinen, & Janicke, 2007; Wilfley et al., 2007). However, despite these data, and evidence suggesting that weight loss in adults who are overweight and obese following participation in workplace wellness programs may be associated with decreased employer health care costs (i.e., reduced health care expenditures and increased workplace productivity; Baker et al., 2008), data on the cost-effectiveness of FBBG programs for the treatment of pediatric obesity are limited. "
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