Objective: The goal of this study was to evaluate the effect of a parent-focused behavioral intervention on parent and child eating changes and on percentage of overweight changes in families that contain at least one obese parent and a non-obese child.
Research methods and procedures: Families with obese parents and non-obese children were randomized to groups in which parents were provided a comprehensive behavioral weight-control program and were encouraged to increase fruit and vegetable intake or decrease intake of high-fat/high-sugar foods. Child materials targeted the same dietary changes as their parents without caloric restriction.
Results: Changes over 1 year showed that treatment influenced targeted parent and child fruit and vegetable intake and high-fat/high-sugar intake, with the Increase Fruit and Vegetable group also decreasing their consumption of high-fat/high-sugar foods. Parents in the increased fruit and vegetable group showed significantly greater decreases in percentage of overweight than parents in the decreased high-fat/high-sugar group.
Discussion: These results suggest that focusing on increasing intake of healthy foods may be a useful approach for nutritional change in obese parents and their children.