Background: US Hispanic children experience a disproportionate burden of overweight and obesity. Comprehensive high-intensity behavioral programs have demonstrated effectiveness in improving weight status among obese children. However, there remains a need to develop more efficient interventions that are feasible in primary care and demonstrate effectiveness in Hispanic children. Methods: The pilot study used a two-group randomized design. Eligible overweight (BMI between the 85th and 94th percentile for age and gender) or obese (BMI ≥95th percentile) Hispanic children and their parents (N=118 child/parent dyads) were recruited from a rural pediatric clinic and randomized to: standard care (SC; n=61 dyads) or behavioral intervention (INT; n=57 dyads). The primary outcomes - weight, waist circumference, and zBMI - were measured at baseline, 2, 6, and 18 weeks. Multivariate logistic regression was used to examine the effect of INT on the likelihood of weight maintenance adjusting for potential confounding variables. Results: Significantly fewer INT children (68.5%) experienced weight gain, compared to SC children (89.7%; p=0.009). The same pattern was observed for waist circumference, where fewer INT children (44%) experienced an increase in waist circumference, compared to SC children (68.6%; p=0.02). Although a trend of improvement in favor of the INT was observed for zBMI, it was not significant. Conclusions: This study provides preliminary evidence for the feasibility of a primary-care-based approach to promoting weight maintenance among a high-risk population.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
- Nutrition and Dietetics