Submitted to: International Journal of Pediatric Obesity
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/28/2007
Publication Date: 8/1/2007
Citation: Johnston, C.A., Tyler, C., Fullerton, G., Poston, W.S.C., Haddock, C.K., Mcfarlin, B., Reeves, R.S., Foreyt, J.P. 2007. Results of an intensive school-based weight loss program with overweight Mexican American children. International Journal of Pediatric Obesity. 2(3):144-152. Interpretive Summary: This paper summarizes the results of an obesity intervention at the school level for weight loss among Mexican American middle-school children. The children in the treatment group significantly reduced their Body Mass Index (BMI) and percent body fat when compared to the children in the control group. The intensive weight loss intervention was successful in promoting weight loss.
Technical Abstract: Childhood overweight has increased significantly in the past 20 years, with the highest rates noted among Mexican Americans. Schools are an optimal setting for intervention efforts; however, few programs have demonstrated actual decreases in weight. This study evaluated an intensive school-based program designed to result in weight reduction for overweight Mexican American children. A total of 71 children (32 males, 48%) between the ages of 10 and 14 at or above the 85th percentile for BMI were randomized into a 6-month intensive intervention (II) or self-help (SH) condition. Results revealed that children in the II condition significantly reduced their standardized BMI (zBMI) when compared to the children in the SH condition (F (2,62) = 6.58, p = 0.003). The change in zBMI was significantly different at both 3 and 6 months (F (1,63) = 5.74, p = 0.019, F (1,63) = 12.61, p = 0.001, respectively) with II participants showing greater decreases in weight. The 3-month change in zBMI for the II was a decrease of .07 compared to a decrease of .01 for SH. The 6-month change in zBMI was a decrease of .11 for II and an increase of .03 for SH. Overall, the results are promising, suggesting that an intensive school-based intervention may be an effective means for promoting weight loss in overweight Mexican American children.