Population-Based Childhood Overweight Prevention: Outcomes of the 'Be Active, Eat Right' Study

A. van Grieken, L. Veldhuis, C.M. Renders, G.J. Borsboom, J.C. van der Wouden, R.A. Hirasing, H. Raat

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Objective:An overweight prevention protocol was used in the 'Be active, eat right' study; parents of overweight children (5 years) were offered healthy lifestyle counseling by youth health care professionals. Effects of the protocol on child BMI and waist circumference at age 7 years were evaluated.Methods:A cluster RCT was conducted among nine youth health care centers in the Netherlands. Parents of overweight, not obese, children received lifestyle counseling and motivational interviewing according to the overweight prevention protocol in the intervention condition (n = 349) and usual care in the control condition (n = 288). Measurements were made of child height, weight and waist circumference at baseline and at a two-year follow-up; parents completed questionnaires regarding demographic characteristics. Linear mixed models were applied; interaction terms were explored.Results:The analyzed population consisted of 38.1% boys; mean age 5.7 [sd: 0.4] years; mean BMI 18.1 [sd: 0.6], the median number of counseling sessions in the intervention condition was 2. The regression model showed no significant difference in BMI increase between the research conditions at follow-up (beta -0.16; 95% CI:-0.60 to 0.27; p = 0.463). There was a significant interaction between baseline BMI and research condition; children with a baseline BMI of 17.25 and 17.50 had a smaller increase in BMI at follow-up when allocated to the intervention condition compared to control condition (estimated adjusted mean difference -0.67 [se: 0.30] and -0.52 [se: 0.36]).Conclusion:Mildly overweight children (baseline BMI 17.25 and 17.50) in the intervention condition showed a significantly smaller increase in BMI at follow-up compared to the control condition; there was no overall difference between intervention and control condition. Future research may explore and evaluate improvements of the prevention protocol.Trial Registration:Current Controlled Trials ISRCTN04965410. © 2013 van Grieken et al.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere65376
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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