Effects of a Family-Based Childhood Obesity Treatment Program on Parental Weight Status

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Cæcilie Trier, Maria Dahl, Theresa Stjernholm, Tenna Ruest Haarmark Nielsen, Christine Bøjsøe, Cilius Esmann Fonvig, Oluf Pedersen, Torben Hansen, Jens-Christian Holm

OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to investigate the prevalence of overweight/obesity among parents of children entering childhood obesity treatment and to evaluate changes in the parents' weight statuses during their child's treatment.

METHODS: The study included parents of 1,125 children and adolescents aged 3-22 years, who were enrolled in a multidisciplinary childhood obesity treatment program. At baseline, weight and height of the parents were obtained by self-reported information and parental body mass index (BMI) was calculated. Weight and height of the children were measured in the clinic and BMI standard deviation scores were calculated. Furthermore, anthropometric data from parents of 664 children were obtained by telephone interview after a mean of 2.5 years of treatment (ranging 16 days to 7 years), and changes in parental BMI were analyzed.

RESULTS: Data on changes in BMI were available in 606 mothers and 479 fathers. At baseline, the median BMI of the mothers was 28.1 kg/m2 (range: 16.9-66.6), and the median BMI of the fathers was 28.9 kg/m2 (range: 17.2-48.1). Seventy percent of the mothers and 80% of the fathers were overweight or obese at the time of their child's treatment initiation. Both the mothers and fathers lost weight during their child's treatment with a mean decrease in BMI in the mothers of 0.5 (95% CI: 0.2-0.8, p = 0.0006) and in the fathers of 0.4 (95% CI: 0.2-0.6, p = 0.0007). Of the overweight/obese parents, 60% of the mothers and 58% of the fathers lost weight during their child's treatment.

CONCLUSION: There is a high prevalence of overweight/obesity among parents of children entering childhood obesity treatment. Family-based childhood obesity treatment with a focus on the child has a positive effect on parental BMI with both mothers and fathers losing weight.

TRIAL REGISTRATION: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00928473.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0161921
JournalP L o S One
Issue number8
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 2016

    Research areas

  • Journal Article

ID: 166676598