Kids between 7 to 13 years of age with high BMI at higher risk of developing diabetes later: study

Novel multifaceted intervention focusing on child's behavior effective in prevention of childhood obesity

Published On 2021-11-27 03:30 GMT   |   Update On 2021-11-27 06:32 GMT

The global prevalence of obesity among children and adolescents has increased 8-fold in the last 4 decades and it continues to accelerate in low- and middle-income countries. Childhood obesity can affect a child's physical and psychological health, academic attainment, quality of life and in the long term, it can also increase the risk of cardiometabolic diseases, musculoskeletal problems, and cancers.

Researchers from China conducted a multifaceted novel interventional study in childhood obesity and found it effective in reducing the body mass index (BMI).

In this randomized controlled trial, children from 24 schools were allocated into two groups-control group and intervention group. Intervention developed for this study was multifaceted based on social ecological model that included 3 components targeting children to promote a healthy diet and physical activity (health education, reinforcement of physical activity, and BMI monitoring and feedback) and 2 components targeting the children's environment (engaging schools and families to support children's behavioral changes). The primary outcome was the change in BMI and secondary outcomes included changes in adiposity outcomes, blood pressure, physical activity,dietary behaviors,obesity-related knowledge, and physical fitness.

Key findings of the study are:

-Researchers found that from baseline to the end of the trial, the mean BMI decreased in the intervention group, whereas it increased in the control group (mean between-group difference, −0.46 [95% CI:−0.67 to −0.25]; P < .001).

-The prevalence of obesity decreased by 27.0% of the baseline in the intervention group compared with 5.6% in the control group, with an odds ratio of 0.34 (95% CI, 0.18- 0.64).


-The intervention group had a higher remission of obesity than the control group (45 of 158 [28.5%] vs 24 of 168 [14.3%]).

-The intervention also improved dietary, sedentary, and physical activity behaviors, and obesity-related knowledge.

-There was no change in moderate- to vigorous-intensity physical activity, physical fitness, or blood pressure between the two groups.

This is the first RCT to show effective BMI reduction using an app-assisted multifaceted approach that includes both BMI monitoring and family involvement.


Authors conclude by saying that –"Children with an above-average BMI at 7 to 13 years of age had an elevated risk of type 2 diabetes in adulthood, but if remission occurred before 13 years, the risk of type 2 diabetes in adulthood decreased to a level similar to that of children who had never had overweight".

Source: JAMA pediatrics

Article Source : JAMA pediatrics

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