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Pediatrics. 2012 Oct;130(4):652-9. doi: 10.1542/peds.2012-0344. Epub 2012 Sep 17.

Feasibility and preliminary outcomes of a scalable, community-based treatment of childhood obesity.

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  • 1Center for Obesity Research and Education, Temple University, 3223 N. Broad St, Suite 175, Philadelphia, PA 19140, USA.

Erratum in

  • Pediatrics. 2013 Oct;132(4):780.



Clinic-based treatments of childhood obesity are effective but typically have limited reach and are costly. In this study, we evaluated the effects of a scalable weight management program for children and teenagers.


Participants were 155 children and their parent/guardian. Children had a mean ± SD age of 11.3 ± 2.8 years, BMI z score of 2.23 ± 0.41, and a percentage overweight of 72.5 ± 34.0. Most (92%) were obese, and nearly half (46.5%) were ≥ 99th percentile for BMI. The primary outcome was change in percentage overweight from baseline to 6 months.


At 6 months, children experienced a 3.4 percentage point reduction in percentage overweight (P = .001). Children <13 years had a 4.3 percentage point reduction in percentage overweight, whereas those ≥ 13 years had a 1.0 percentage point reduction. Those who attended a greater number of face-to-face group sessions experienced greater changes in percentage overweight. There were significant improvements in child health-related quality of life as reported by both children and their parents.


These data suggest that a scalable, community-based pediatric obesity intervention can result in clinically significant reductions in percentage overweight, as well as improvements in health-related quality of life.

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