Objective: To assess the effects of a multidisciplinary intervention program for 3-year-old to 5-year-old overweight and obese children compared with a usual-care program.
Design: Randomized controlled clinical trial conducted from October 2006 to March 2008.
Setting: Groningen Expert Center for Kids with Obesity at Beatrix Children's Hospital, University Medical Center Groningen.
Participants: Seventy-five children (29 overweight, 46 obese) aged 3 to 5 years.
Intervention: A multidisciplinary intervention program vs a usual-care program. Anthropometry was performed and body composition was determined by bioelectrical impedance analysis and ultrasonography at the start and end of the 16-week program and 12 months after starting the intervention.
Main Outcome Measures: The actual weight reduction, change in body mass index (BMI, calculated as weight in kilograms divided by height in meters squared), BMI z score, body fat percentage, and visceral fat in the multidisciplinary intervention group compared with a usual-care group.
Results: At the end of the treatment program, children in the multidisciplinary intervention group showed a greater decrease in BMI, BMI z score, and waist circumference z score compared with children in the usual-care group. At 12 months, children in the intervention group showed greater decreases in BMI, BMI z score, waist circumference, and waist circumference z score compared with children in the usual-care group. Visceral fat showed a trend toward a higher decrease.
Conclusions: A multidisciplinary intervention program in 3-year-old to 5-year-old overweight and obese children had beneficial effects on anthropometry and body composition. The positive effects were still present 12 months after the start of the intervention.
Trial Registration: isrctn.org Identifier: ISRCTN47185691