Background: Childhood obesity has become a nutritional problem in China since the 1990s.
Aims: A family based behavioural treatment was developed and tested, to see if its use was feasible in China and to evaluate its impact on obese schoolchildren.
Methods: In a single school in Beijing, 33 obese children were randomly assigned to a treatment group and 35 to a control group. The treatment group participated in a family based behavioural treatment programme for two years. Height and weight were measured every six months for all participants. Blood pressure, cholesterol, and triglyceride levels were measured at baseline and after two years of programme implementation.
Results: Body mass index (BMI, kg/m2) was significantly reduced in the treatment group (from 26.6 (1.7) to 24.0 (0.9), 95% CI 2.06 to 3.18) but not in the control group (from 26.1 (1.5) to 26.0 (1.6)). Total cholesterol decreased 5.5% and triglycerides 9.7% in the treatment group. There was a significant correlation between change in BMI and change in triglycerides. There were no significant changes in plasma lipids in the controls. Blood pressure values also decreased significantly in the treatment, but not the control group.
Conclusions: A family based behavioural intervention was feasible to use in treating obesity in schoolchildren in Beijing, China. After two years of implementation, it successfully decreased the degree of obesity, reduced levels of blood pressure, and decreased serum lipids in treatment; there were no significant changes among control children.
2005. Vol. 90, no 12, 1235-8 p.