Using the family to combat childhood and adult obesity

Prev Chronic Dis. 2009 Jul;6(3):A106. Epub 2009 Jun 15.


The purpose of this article is to emphasize the value of the family as a source of behavior change, particularly with respect to attaining achievable goals of weight loss and regular physical activity for youth and their families. We present a review of the literature, providing support for the value of the family in influencing children to form good diet and exercise behaviors and as a source of support and motivation for individuals seeking to lose or control their weight and to start and maintain a physically active lifestyle. Recognizing the importance of family behavior in the development of weight control and weight loss activities is essential. Future work should focus on identifying measurable parameters of family-level weight control behaviors and ways to apply those parameters to help create new interventions that use the strengths of the family for achieving weight control goals.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Child
  • Family Relations*
  • Feeding Behavior
  • Health Behavior
  • Health Promotion*
  • Humans
  • Obesity / prevention & control*