Family-based behavioural treatment of obesity: Acceptability and effectiveness in the UK

C. Edwards, D. Nicholls, H. Croker, S. Van Zyl, R. Viner, J. Wardle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Scopus citations


Objective: To assess the acceptability and impact of family-based behavioural treatment (FBBT) for childhood obesity in a clinical setting in the UK. Design: Pre- and post-treatment assessment for four consecutive treatment groups. Setting: Treatment groups took place at Great Ormond Street Hospital, London. Patients: Participants were 33 families with obese (BMI ≥98th centile for age and sex) children aged 8-13 years. Intervention: FBBT was delivered over 12 sessions. Main outcome measures: Overweight (percentage BMI), self-esteem, mood and eating attitudes were assessed before and after treatment; overweight was re-assessed at 3-month follow-up for those who completed treatment. Results: The FBBT programme materials translated easily to the UK setting and the programme was well-liked by participants. Twenty-seven out of 33 families (82%) completed the sessions. Children lost 8.4% BMI over the time of treatment, and this was maintained at 3-month follow-up. Self-esteem and depression improved significantly and there was no change in food pre-occupation, anorexia or bulimia on the ChEAT. Conclusions: These results establish that FBBT is feasible and acceptable in a clinical setting in Britain. They indicate that significant loss of overweight can be achieved using the programme without adverse psychological consequences.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)587-592
Number of pages6
JournalEuropean Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Behavioural
  • Family
  • Obesity
  • Treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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