Impact of a child obesity intervention on dietary intake and behaviors

Int J Obes (Lond). 2008 Oct;32(10):1481-8. doi: 10.1038/ijo.2008.96. Epub 2008 Jul 8.


Objective: The aims of this study were to describe the dietary intakes and food behavior changes of overweight and obese children participating in the Hunter Illawarra Kids Challenge Using Parent Support (HIKCUPS) study and to describe the impact of a best practice dietary modification program.

Design: A multicenter randomized controlled trial with allocation to one of three intervention arms: (1) parent-centered nutrition lifestyle program; (2) child-centered physical activity skill development program; or (3) both the programs.

Participants: One hundred and sixty-five overweight, pre-pubertal children 5-9 years of age (58% female).

Measurements: Dietary intake was assessed at baseline, 6 and 12 months post-commencement of the program using a semiquantitative food frequency questionnaire.

Results: After 6 and 12 months, all groups improved their dietary intake, with no differences detected between groups (P>0.05). Total quantity of food (g) and kJ kg(-1) decreased significantly at both time points (P<0.05). Percent energy derived from core food groups, except fruit, increased significantly at 12 months compared to baseline (P<0.05), and non-core foods decreased, with the largest decreases being for sweetened drinks (5.0+/-0.4 vs 2.9+/-0.3% of energy baseline to 12 months, P<0.001) and packaged lunch box snacks (5.4+/-0.3 vs 4.1+/-0.3% of energy baseline to 12 months, P<0.001).

Conclusion: All treatment groups in the HIKCUPS study appear to be equally efficacious in improving dietary intake in overweight and obese children.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Body Mass Index
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Energy Intake*
  • Exercise Therapy / methods*
  • Feeding Behavior / physiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Motor Skills
  • Obesity / diet therapy
  • Obesity / prevention & control*
  • Secondary Prevention
  • Waist Circumference