Prevention and treatment of pediatric obesity: a strategy involving children, adolescents and the family for improved body composition
Moxley, Elizabeth A.
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Purpose Pediatric obesity is a serious health problem affecting 1 of 6 children in the U.S. A two- to threefold increased incidence is evident in the last two decades. This study analyzes the outcomes of the ProActive Kids Foundation three-tiered early intervention program to determine the improvement in body composition in overweight and obese youth by incorporating the family along with the pediatric participant. Methods We analyzed data from 884 overweight (BMI between 85% and 95th percentile) or obese (BMI > 95th percentile) youth (5 to 17 years) in a major metropolitan area in Illinois, to determine body composition improvement from an 8-week intervention between 2010 and 2017. Weight, percent body fat, fat free mass and BMI were analyzed using mixed model analysis, ANCOVA and paired t-test analysis. Results All measures of weight, percent body fat, fat free mass and BMI improved significantly in pediatric participants. Age, county of residence and time impacted weight, body fat, fat free mass and BMI. Gender did not impact the average change in weight or BMI. Conclusions The ProActive Kids early intervention program utilizes a targeted approach for the treatment of pediatric obesity during critical developmental ages. By educating parents along with children and adolescents about mental health coaching (lifestyle), nutrition and physical activity, we observed improvements in body composition that have potential to be sustainable.