Objective: To evaluate the feasibility, acceptability, and efficacy of an after-school team sports program for reducing weight gain in low-income overweight children.
Design: Six-month, 2-arm, parallel-group, pilot randomized controlled trial.
Setting: Low-income, racial/ethnic minority community.
Participants: Twenty-one children in grades 4 and 5 with a body mass index at or above the 85th percentile.
Interventions: The treatment intervention consisted of an after-school soccer program. The "active placebo" control intervention consisted of an after-school health education program.
Main outcome measures: Implementation, acceptability, body mass index, physical activity measured using accelerometers, reported television and other screen time, self-esteem, depressive symptoms, and weight concerns.
Results: All 21 children completed the study. Compared with children receiving health education, children in the soccer group had significant decreases in body mass index z scores at 3 and 6 months and significant increases in total daily, moderate, and vigorous physical activity at 3 months.
Conclusion: An after-school team soccer program for overweight children can be a feasible, acceptable, and efficacious intervention for weight control.
Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00186173.