Behavioral lifestyle intervention, combined with parental involvement, is preferred over standard care or self-help in childhood obesity. The short-term results of such interventions are promising, but long-term follow-up results are equivocal.
The objective of the present study was the short (3 months) and long-term (1 and 2 years follow-up) effect evaluation of a family-based multidisciplinary cognitive behavioral lifestyle intervention on markers of adiposity, metabolism, inflammation and physical fitness compared with standard care in children with obesity. Also the association between these outcome variables was determined.
In this prospective longitudinal clinical trial, obese children were randomly assigned to a 3-month family-based cognitive behavioral multidisciplinary lifestyle treatment (n=40; body mass index-standard deviation score (BMI-SDS) 4.2±0.7; age; 13.3±2.0 years) or to a control group receiving an initial advice on physical activity and nutrition (n=39; BMI-SDS 4.3±0.6; age 13.1±1.9 years). Anthropometric data, physical fitness, metabolic parameters and inflammatory state were evaluated at baseline, after intervention (at 3 months) and at 1-year follow-up. At 2-year follow-up, anthropometric data and physical fitness were measured in the intervention group.
An intervention effect after 1 year was found for adiposity (P=0.02 for BMI-SDS, P=0.03 for waist circumference (WC)-SDS), physical fitness (absolute measured peak value of oxygen uptake (ml min−1), standardized for age and gender (VO2peak-SDS), P<0.01) and insulin resistance (HOMA-SDS, P=0.04). No significant intervention effect was found for serum lipid profile, high-sensitive C-reactive protein or for adiponectin. At 2-year follow-up, BMI-SDS in the intervention group (n=31) was 3.8±1.2 SDS, significantly less than at baseline (P=0.02).
A positive 1-year follow-up treatment effect was found for adiposity, physical fitness and glucose homeostasis, but not for inflammatory markers. There was a significant long-term treatment effect on adiposity, although almost all children remained obese.