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Child Obes. 2016 Feb;12(1):20-5. doi: 10.1089/chi.2014.0119. Epub 2016 Jan 20.

Effectiveness of a Hospital-Based Multidisciplinary Pediatric Weight Management Program: Two-Year Outcomes of PHIT Kids.

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1 Department of Pediatrics, Children's Mercy Hospital , Kansas City, MO.
2 Center for Children's Healthy Lifestyles and Nutrition , Kansas City, MO.
3 Department of Clinical Child Psychology, University of Kansas , Lawrence, KS.
4 Division of Nutritional Sciences, College of Human Ecology, Cornell University , Ithaca, NY.
5 Department of Health Outcomes and Policy, University of Florida College of Medicine , Gainesville, FL.



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.


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.


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.


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.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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