A combined nutritional-behavioral-physical activity intervention for the treatment of childhood obesity - A 7-year summary

Dan Nemet*, Lital Levi, Michal Pantanowitz, Alon Eliakim

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We assessed the effect of a weight management program on body weight, body mass index (BMI), BMI percentile, and fitness in obese children and adolescents. The study was designed as a longitudinal, non- randomized, clinical experience of 3, 6, and 12 months combined dietary- behavioral-exercise intervention. Seven hundred and forty-nine obese children (age, 6-16 years) participated in a 3 months program. Three hundred and fifty-nine of them completed a 6 months intervention and 147 completed a 1 year intervention. Sixty-seven age- and maturity- matched obese children who did not participate in the structured program served as controls. Body weight, BMI, and fitness were evaluated at baseline, and after 3, 6, and 12 months intervention. Body weight, BMI, and BMI percentiles were significantly reduced (p < 0.05) and endurance time significantly increased (p < 0.0005) following the 3 months intervention. Obese children who continued the program for 6 months maintained decreases in BMI percentiles and further improved endurance time. In contrast, obese children in the control group gained weight, increased their BMI, and had a less significant improvement in fitness. Parental obesity (both parents), degree of obesity (BMI > 97%), and more than one prior weight loss attempt were associated with lower decreases, whereas sex and pubertal status had no influence, on BMI percentiles changes. Children without parental overweight had significantly greater decreases in BMI compared with children with both parents showing obesity. In summary, a combined, structured multidisciplinary intervention for childhood obesity led to decreased body weight, BMI, and BMI percentiles, and to improved fitness.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)445-451
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Pediatric Endocrinology and Metabolism
Issue number5-6
StatePublished - May 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Childhood
  • Exercise
  • Multidisciplinary intervention
  • Obesity


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