Three-year follow-up of 3-year-old to 5-year-old children after participation in a multidisciplinary or a usual-care obesity treatment program
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BACKGROUND & AIMS: Little is known on the long-term effects of obesity intervention programs in preschool-aged children. We compared the long-term effects of a multidisciplinary treatment program with a usual-care program in seventy-five 3- to 5-year-old overweight or obese children who had participated in a randomized controlled clinical trial. METHODS: A follow-up study collecting data at 18 and 36 months after starting both programs. The multidisciplinary program consisted of diet counseling, exercise sessions teaching motor skills and focusing on an active lifestyle, and psychoeducation for parents. Outcome measures were changes in anthropometry and body composition, determined by bioelectrical impedance analysis and ultrasound. RESULTS: At the end of the 16-week treatment program, the multidisciplinary intervention showed a greater decrease in body mass index z score (BMI-z) (mean (SD) 0.2 (0.1)) and waist circumference z score (WC-z) (mean (SD) 0.3 (0.1)), than usual-care. During the 36-month follow-up, a significant overall treatment effect of the multidisciplinary intervention program was demonstrated on BMI-z (0.28, 95% CI 0.03-0.54) and abdominal subcutaneous fat (SCF) (0.23, 95% CI 0.01-0.45), compared with the usual-care program. CONCLUSIONS: A multidisciplinary intervention program in 3- to 5-year-old overweight and obese children shows greater long-term effects on reductions in BMI-z and SCF, compared with a usual-care program.
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