Submitted to: Obesity
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/1/2006
Publication Date: 9/1/2006
Citation: Fullerton, G., Tyler, C., Johnston, C.A., Foreyt, J. 2006. Treatment for overweight Mexican American children: Impact on quality of life [abstract]. Obesity. 14:A176.
Technical Abstract: Childhood overweight is a serious health problem occurring in especially high rates among Mexican Americans. Although there is empirical support for behaviorally based treatments for pediatric overweight, there is limited evidence that treatment increases children's quality of life (QOL). Our objective was to evaluate QOL in at-risk for overweight and overweight Mexican American children after participating in 6 months of intensive intervention(II) relative to children participating in self-help program (SH). A total sample of 80 6th- and 7th-grade at-risk for overweight and overweight (BMI >= 85th percetile) self-identified Mexican American children were randomized to receive either II or SH. Children in the II condition participated daily for 12 weeks in a multicomponent program composed of nutrition education, physical activity, and behavior modification, followed by ongoing monthly maintenance. Children and their families in the SH condition were given instructions to follow a self-help manual, Trim Kids, that resembled components of the guided instruction. QOL was assessed at baseline and 6 months via child self-report Pediatric Quality of Life Inventory (PedsQLTM). Six-month QOL outcomes were compared across treatment groups. Children in the II condition not only reported significantly greater weight loss (zBMI change in -.13 +/- .14; p<.001) but also significantly greater physical QOL improvements than those in the SH condition at 6 months (p<.05). However, children in the II did not experience greater improvements in psychosocial or total QOL. As hypothesized, an intensive, behaviorally based intervention resulted in improved physical QOL for at-risk for overweight and overweight Mexican American children. However, psychosocial QOL appeared to be influenced by other factors in this sample. These findings are promising for the effects of weight loss treatment on QOL. Furthermore, they illustrate the clear need to include evaluation of QOL in the process of identifying effective weight management programs.