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