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Clinic and Home-Based Behavioral Intervention for Obesity in Preschoolers: A Randomized Trial

In this phase III randomised controlled trial of 151 children, published in the Journal of Pediatrics, the authors sought to investigate whether a skills-based behavioural family clinic and home-based intervention (LAUNCH) would be more effective at reducing BMI than motivational interviewing or to standard care in preschool-aged children with obesity.

LAUNCH is an 18-session clinic and home, family-based behavioral weight management intervention. Motivational interviewing was a parent only intervention consisting of 18 sessions over 6 months and focused on making changes to the child’s caregiver by encouraging diet and activity changes. Standard care informed caregivers of their child’s weight status during the recruitment process, but neither the children nor caregivers received any treatment.

LAUNCH demonstrated a mean (±SD) decrease in BMIz of −0.32 (±0.33) while motivational interviewing yielded a decrease of −0.05 (±0.27), standard care yielded a decrease of −0.13 (±0.31). Children in motivational interviewing and standard care gained almost triple the amount of weight during the 6-month period as children in LAUNCH. This slowing of weight gain resulted in a 4.45% decrease in percent overweight for LAUNCH, while both motivational interviewing and standard care increased in their percent overweight by 2.43% and 1.45%, respectively. Thus, the decrease in BMIz for LAUNCH was not only statistically significant, but clinically meaningful as well.


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