Submitted to: Pediatrics
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/11/2007
Publication Date: 12/1/2007
Citation: Johnston, C.A., Tyler, C., McFarlin, B.K., Poston, W.S.C., Haddock, C.K., Reeves, R., Foreyt, J.P. 2007. Weight loss in overweight Mexican American children: A randomized controlled trial. Pediatrics. 120(6):e1450-e1457. Interpretive Summary: This study examines the effectiveness of an intensive behavioral weight management intervention compared to a self-help program at bringing about weight loss in overweight Mexican American children. Results indicate that children enrolled in the weight management intervention showed significantly greater reductions in weight and total cholesterol compared to children in the self-help program. The outcome of this study suggests that intensive interventions are an effective method of bringing about weight loss in Mexican-American children. The authors propose that future research is needed to examine the long-term impact of this type of program.
Technical Abstract: Childhood overweight has increased significantly in the past 20 years, with the highest rates noted among Mexican Americans. Though this minority group is in significant need of intervention, few programs have demonstrated actual decreases in weight. This study evaluated an intensive healthy lifestyle program designed to result in weight reduction for overweight Mexican American children. We hypothesized that children randomized to an intensive intervention (II) would significantly reduce their standardized BMI (zBMI) when compared to children randomized to a self-help (SH) condition. A total of 60 children (33 males, 55%) between the ages of 10 and 14 at or above the 85th percentile for BMI were randomized into a 6-month II or SH condition. Children in the II condition significantly reduced their standardized BMI (zBMI) when compared to the children in the SH condition (F (2,54) = 11.72, p < 0.001). The change in zBMI was significantly different at both 3 and 6 months (F (1,55) = 16.50, p < 0.001, F (1,56) = 22.01, p < 0.001, respectively), with II participants showing greater decreases in weight. Overall, the results are promising, suggesting that an intensive, individualized intervention may be an effective means for promoting weight loss in overweight Mexican American children.