Parent-Only Treatment Can be Effective in Tackling Obesity in Children

Parent-only treatments are proven to be more effective when compared to plans which involve both parents and children in addressing childhood obesity.

The new discovery about tackling obesity was made by researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, UCSD Child and Adolescent Services Research Center and University of Minnesota. The result of this relatively simple and cost effective method of obesity treatment in children is published in October 2010 advanced online edition of the journal Obesity. The study was funded by a grant from the National Institutes of Health.

Eighty parents with an overweight or obese child ages 8-12 years old participated for five months were randomly given either parent-only treatment or parent and child treatment. The calorie intake and physical activity of the child and body size of the parent and child were assessed during and after the treatment for six more months.

What Research Revealed About Tacking Obesity Using Parent-Only Groups?

  • The role of parents is pivotal in a child’s environment.
  • The parent only group provided similar weight loss results.
  • The results of the study were positive in this regard as it was revealed that the parent-only group was no way less in comparison to child physical activity, parent weight loss and child weight loss plans.

Significance of the Research on Parent-Only Group in Tacking Obesity in Children:

Latest estimates reveal that four-five million (or 31 percent) children in the United States are overweight or obese. Current weight loss plans combining nutritional education, exercise and behavioral therapy techniques require the involvement of both the parents and child.

This makes the current treatment model and associated clinic visits a costly affair for families. The present research can hopefully bring down the treatment cost of tackling childhood obesity by having the parent serve as a teacher.





Golan M, Weizman A, Apter A, Fainaru M. Parents as the exclusive agents of change in the treatment of childhood obesity. Am J Clin Nutr 1998;67:1130–1135. | PubMed | ISI | ChemPort |

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