DEVELOPMENT AND PREVENTION OF CHILDHOOD OBESITY
Location: Children Nutrition Research Center (Houston, Tx)
Title: Effects of a school-based weight maintenance program for Mexican-American children: results at 2 years
| Johnston, Craig - |
| Tyler, Chermaine - |
| Mcfarlin, Brian - |
| Poston, Walker S - |
| Haddock, C - |
| Reeves, Rebecca - |
| Foreyt, John - |
Submitted to: Obesity
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: June 20, 2009
Publication Date: March 1, 2010
Citation: Johnston, C.A., Tyler, C., McFarlin, B.K., Poston, W.S.C., Haddock, C.K, Reeves, R.S., Foreyt, J.P. 2010. Effects of a school-based weight maintenance program for Mexican-American children: results at 2 years. Obesity. 18(3):542-547.
Interpretive Summary: The purpose of this study was to examine the long term effectiveness of an instructor-led weight maintenance intervention in comparison to a self help program for overweight Mexican-American children. Results indicate that both weight loss and cardiovascular improvements were maintained over 2 years in children participating in the instructor-led intervention. Children in the intervention showed significantly greater decreases in weight in comparison to children in the self-help program at 1 and 2 years. Children in the intervention also showed greater improvements in body composition, total cholesterol, and triglycerides than participants of the self-help program. The findings of this study suggest that school-based weight loss programs can effectively improve weight and clinical outcomes, and result in the long term maintenance of these outcomes for Mexican-American children. Further research is necessary to determine the components (e.g. diet, physical activity, self-monitoring, social support strategies) of the program most responsible for the favorable outcomes. Future studies may also assess the cost-effectiveness of school-based programs in order to establish generalizable methods for addressing overweight in children.
The prevalence of childhood overweight has increased significantly, with the highest rates noted among Mexican Americans. Many negative health outcomes are associated with overweight; thus, there is a need for effective weight-loss interventions tailored to this group. This study evaluated 24-month outcomes of a randomized, controlled trial involving an intensive lifestyle-based weight maintenance program targeting overweight Mexican-American children at a charter school in Houston, Texas. A total of 60 children (33 males, 55%) between the ages of 10 and 14 at or >85th percentile for BMI were recruited. Participants were randomized to an instructor-led intervention (ILI) or a self-help (SH) program, both aimed at modifying eating and physical activity behaviors using behavior modification strategies. Changes in participants' standardized BMI (zBMI) were assessed at baseline, 1, and 2 years. Tricep skinfold, total cholesterol, triglycerides, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, and calculated low-density lipoprotein were assessed at baseline and 1 year. ILI participants showed significantly greater decreases in zBMI at 1 and 2 years (F = 26.8, P < 0.001, F = 4.1, P < 0.05, respectively) compared to SH controls. ILI participants showed greater improvements in body composition, as measured by tricep skinfold (F = 9.75, P < 0.01). Children in the ILI condition experienced benefits with respect to total cholesterol (F = 7.19, P < 0.05) and triglycerides (F = 4.35, P < 0.05) compared to children in the SH condition. Overall, the school-based intervention resulted in improved weight and clinical outcomes in overweight Mexican-American children, and zBMI was maintained over 2 years.