Treatment of childhood obesity in obese families

Dan Nemet, Neomi Barzilay-Teeni, Alon Eliakim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Parental obesity reduces the likelihood of a multidisciplinary childhood obesity program to succeed, suggesting that special family-based interventions should be constructed for obese children from obese families. Aim: To examine the effects of an intense combined 3-month familial dietary-behavioral-physical activity intervention for a subgroup of obese children (BMI >95th percentile) from obese families (parental BMI >27 kg/m2) compared to a control group of obese children and obese parents who did not participate in the combined intervention. Children: Twenty-two obese children were randomly assigned to the intervention (n = 11) or control (n = 11) group. Anthropometric measurements, body composition, dietary and activity habits and fitness levels were measured before and at the end of a 3-month intervention. Results: The intervention led to a significant difference in change in body weight (-0.2 ± 0.3 vs 1.7 ± 0.6 kg; p <0.05), BMI percentiles (4.4 ± 0.5 vs -0.1 ± 0.2%; p <0.05), and to a decrease in screen (television and computer) time (-2.2 ± 0.6 vs 0.1 ± 0.3 h/day; p <0.05) in the intervention group compared to the controls. In addition, the intervention led to a significant improvement in fitness level determined by endurance time (181 ± 30 vs 26 ± 63 seconds in the intervention vs control group, respectively; p<0.05). Conclusion: Obese children from obese families pose a therapeutic challenge to health care providers. Intense family-oriented multidisciplinary weight management intervention should be designed for treatment in this unique population.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)461-467
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Pediatric Endocrinology and Metabolism
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2008


  • Exercise
  • Nutrition
  • Overweight
  • Parental obesity


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