Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content
Translate
Translate
menu iconMenu
search iconSearch

Parent-Only Treatment May Be Equally Effective For Children Who Are Obese

 

October 21, 2010  |   

A study led by a researcher at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine indicates that parent-only treatments for childhood obesity work equally as well as plans that include parents and child, while at the same time more cost effective and potentially easier for families.  The results were published today in the advanced online edition of the journal Obesity.

Kerri N. Boutelle, PhD, associate professor of pediatrics and psychiatry at UC San Diego and Rady Children’s Hospital, San Diego, and colleagues set out to assess whether parent-only groups are an equally viable method for weight loss.

“Our results showed that the parent-only group was not inferior in terms of child weight loss, parent weight loss and child physical activity,” said Boutelle.  “While further research is needed, our work suggests that parent-only groups are a viable method for providing childhood obesity treatment.”

Recent data suggests at 31 percent of children in the United States are overweight or obese, or between four and five million children.  Current treatment programs generally require participation by both parents and children in a plan that combines nutrition education and exercise with behavior therapy techniques.

“Parents are the most significant people in a child’s environment, serving as the first and most important teachers,” said Boutelle “Since they play a significant role in any weight-loss program for children, we wondered if the same results could be achieved by working with just the parents, without the child coming to the clinic.”

The researchers looked at eighty parent-child groups with an 8 to 12-year-old overweight or obese child, and randomly assigned families into parent-only or parent + child treatment programs for five months.  Child and parent body size, child caloric intake and child physical activity were assessed at baseline, post-treatment and at a six-month follow up visit.

The results showed that the parent-only group provided similar results in child weight loss and other relevant outcomes.  Since parent-only treatments are successfully used to deliver treatments for other child behavioral issues, this approach to instilling better nutrition and exercise habits in children – designed to result in weight loss – could also prove to be an effective treatment model.

Boutelle has received another grant from the National Institutes of Health to conduct this study with 150 families and follow them for 18 months.  This larger study will be recruiting families for the next three years.

For more information about weight loss programs for children and adolescents, visit www.obesitytreatment.ucsd.edu or email Kidsweight@ucsd.edu.

Additional contributors to the study include Guy Cafri, UCSD Child and Adolescent Services Research Center, and Scott J. Crown, University of Minnesota.  The study was supported in part by a grant from the National Institutes of Health.

# # #

Media contact: Debra Kain, ddkain@ucsd.edu, 619-543-6163

 



Media Contact

Related News

4/22/2015
UC San Diego Health System and Scripps Health are partnering to provide improved continuity of patient care, fellowship training and research in hospice and palliative medicine. Under a new five-year ...
4/20/2015
Researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine and Moores Cancer Center have discovered a molecular mechanism that connects breast tissue stiffness to tumor metastasis and p ...
4/20/2015
A decrease in the amount of time spent eating and an increase in overnight fasting reduces glucose levels and may reduce the risk of breast cancer among women, report University of California, San Die ...
4/20/2015
The threat of falsified medications, also referred to as counterfeit, fraudulent, and substandard, can be quite real, yet the full scope and prevalence of the problem is poorly understood, say researc ...
4/17/2015
Researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine have created an in vitro, live-cell artificial vessel that can be used to study both the application and effects of devices us ...
4/16/2015
The increase in use of e-cigarettes has led to heated debates between opponents who question the safety of these devices and proponents who claim the battery-operated products are a useful cessation t ...
4/16/2015
An international team of scientists, led by researchers at University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, have found genetic overlap between Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and two significant cardi ...
4/13/2015
About one quarter of all atrial fibrillation patients at the lowest risk for stroke receive unnecessary blood thinners from cardiology specialists, according to a new study by researchers at Universit ...