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A parent-led family-focused treatment program for overweight children aged 5 to 9 years: the PEACH RCT

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-18, 21:30 authored by Magarey, AM, Perry, RA, Baur, LA, Steinbeck, KS, Sawyer, M, Andrew HillsAndrew Hills, Wilson, G, Lee, A, Daniels, LA

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate a healthy lifestyle intervention to reduce adiposity in children aged 5 to 9 years and assess whether adding parenting skills training would enhance this effect.

PARTICIPANTS AND METHODS: We conducted a single-blinded randomized controlled trial of prepubertal moderately obese (International Obesity Task Force cut points) children, aged 5 to 9 years. The 6-month program targeted parents as the agents of change for implementing family lifestyle changes. Only parents attended group sessions. We measured BMI and waist z scores and parenting constructs at baseline, 6, 12, 18, 24 months.

RESULTS: Participants (n = 169; 56% girls) were randomized to a parenting skills plus healthy lifestyle group (n = 85) or a healthy lifestyle-only group (n = 84). At final 24-month assessment 52 and 54 children remained in the parenting skills plus healthy lifestyle and the healthy lifestyle-only groups respectively. There were reductions (P < .001) in BMI z score (0.26 [95% confidence interval: 0.22-0.30]) and waist z score (0.33 [95% confidence interval: 0.26-0.40]). There was a 10% reduction in z scores from baseline to 6 months that was maintained to 24 months with no additional intervention. Overall, there was no significant group effect. A similar pattern of initial improvement followed by stability was observed for parenting outcomes and no group effect.

CONCLUSIONS: Using approaches that specifically target parent behavior, relative weight loss of ∼10% is achievable in moderately obese prepubertal children and can be maintained for 2 years from baseline. These results justify an investment in treatment as an effective secondary obesity-prevention strategy.


Publication title

Pediatrics (English Edition)








School of Health Sciences


American Academy of Pediatrics

Place of publication

United States

Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Neonatal and child health

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