Objective: For children with obesity, long-term sustainability of weight loss after treatment is difficult to achieve. This study examined 2-year anthropometric outcomes of a moderately intensive group behaviorally based weight management program. Methods: One hundred seventy-three children with obesity ages 8-18 years participated with their parent or adult caregiver in a 24-week multicomponent intervention, which was followed by monthly sessions for a total of 2 years. Children were considered treatment completers if they attended ≥50% of the 24 weekly sessions. A multilevel model (multiple assessment time points nested within participants) was used to test person-level change in BMI z-score (BMIz) for program completers between (1) pre- and post-treatment, (2) pretreatment and 24-month follow-up, (3) post-treatment and 12-month follow-up, and (4) post-treatment and 24-month follow-up. Results: One hundred twenty-four (72%) of the participants completed the 24-week intervention. Significant reductions in BMIz were observed over the course of treatment (β = -0.03; standard error [SE] = 0.004; t = -6.85; p < 0.001). Completers showed a significant reduction in BMIz between initiation of treatment and 2-year follow-up (n = 110 at 24 weeks; n = 38 at 24 months; β = -0.02; SE = 0.005; t = -4.12; p < 0.001). Children did not show any significant changes in BMIz between post-treatment and 24-month follow-up (β = -0.006; SE = 0.011; t = -0.61; p = 0.54), suggesting that treatment effects were maintained. Conclusions: Children maintained treatment gains achieved during a 24-week family-based behavioral weight management program at 2-year follow-up. Although these findings suggest that gains are sustainable, further research is needed to understand how these long-term changes impact child health.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
- Nutrition and Dietetics