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Obes Facts. 2017;10(5):503-516. doi: 10.1159/000480517. Epub 2017 Oct 31.

Reduction of Portion Size and Eating Rate Is Associated with BMI-SDS Reduction in Overweight and Obese Children and Adolescents: Results on Eating and Nutrition Behaviour from the Observational KgAS Study.

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Institute of Social Paediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, LMU Munich, Munich, Germany.



Treatment of paediatric obesity focuses on changes of nutrition and eating behaviour and physical activity. The evaluation of the patient education programme by KgAS was utilised to analyse the association of changes of portion size, eating rate and dietary habits with BMI-SDS reductions.


Patients (n = 297) were examined at the beginning and at the end of treatment and after 1-year follow-up at different out-patient centres. Their parents completed questionnaires including estimation of children's portion size, eating rate and frequency of food intake. Associations of 1- and 2-year changes in BMI-SDS and behaviour were calculated for patients with complete data in BMI-SDS, portion size, eating rate, frequency of green, yellow and red food intake (n = 131) by multiple linear regression models.


Significant changes were found in the desired direction for BMI-SDS, portion size, eating rate and the intake of unfavourable red food items both after 1 and 2 years as well as for the consumption of favourable green food items after 1 year. Significant positive associations with BMI-SDS reduction after 1 and 2 years were detected for portion size (Cohen's f2 0.13 and 0.09) and eating rate (Cohen's f2 0.20 and 0.10), respectively.


Reduced portion sizes and eating rates are associated with BMI-SDS reduction after 1 and 2 years. These findings suggest to focus on appropriate portion sizes and reduced eating rates in patient education programmes.


Adolescence obesity; Childhood obesity; Conservative treatment; Eating rate; Portion size

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