The effect of family-based multidisciplinary cognitive behavioral treatment in children with obesity: study protocol for a randomized controlled trial.
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BACKGROUND: The prevalence of childhood obesity has increased rapidly during the last three decades in the Netherlands. It is assumed that mainly environmental factors have contributed to this trend. Parental overweight and low social economic status are risk factors for childhood obesity. Childhood obesity affects self-esteem and has negative consequences on cognitive and social development. Obese children tend to become obese adults, which increases the risk for developing cardiovascular complications, type 2 diabetes mellitus, and psychosocial problems. Additionally, the secretion of several gastrointestinal hormones, responsible for appetite and food intake, is impaired in obese subjects. Weight reduction through lifestyle changes in order to change health risks is, until now, suggested as the preferred treatment for childhood obesity.The objective of this study is the effect evaluation of a family-based cognitive behavioral multidisciplinary lifestyle treatment. The intervention aims to establish long-term weight reduction and stabilization, reduction of obesity-related health consequences and improvement of self-image by change of lifestyle and learning cognitive behavioral techniques.
STUDY DESIGN/METHODS: In this randomized clinical trial newly presented children with obesity (8-17 years old) are divided, by randomization, in an intervention and control group, both consisting of 40 obese children. The intervention is carried out in groups of 8-11 children, and consists of respectively 7 and 5 separate group meetings for the children and their parents and 1 joint group meeting of 2 ½ hours. Main topics are education on nutrition, self-control techniques, social skills, physical activity and improvement of self-esteem. The control group is given advice on physical activity and nutrition. For normal data comparison, data were collected of 40 normal-weight children, 8-17 years old.
DISCUSSION: Because of the increasing prevalence of childhood obesity and the impact on the individual as well as on society, prevention and treatment of obesity in children is of great importance. For evaluation of short- and long-term effects of the treatment, measurements are taken before and after 3 months of treatment, and after 12 and 24 months follow-up. During these visits clinical and biochemical data are determined, cardiovascular fitness tests are performed and quality of life questionnaires are completed.