Attrition in paediatric weight management: a review of the literature and new directions

Obes Rev. 2011 May;12(5):e273-81. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-789X.2010.00803.x. Epub 2010 Sep 29.


Paediatric obesity continues to be one of the most important health issues facing children and families today, and there remains a need for effective treatment options. There are a few reports in the literature demonstrating high rates of attrition from paediatric weight management programmes, ranging from 27% to 73%. While some studies show that racial/ethnic minorities, the economically disadvantaged and those with higher levels of obesity are at risk, other studies do not. There is some consistency in reasons given by families for attrition from treatment, most often scheduling issues and programmes not meeting family needs or expectations. This review highlights identified contributors to attrition from paediatric weight management and provides a framework to study this problem, based on models of adherence to paediatric medical regimens.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Humans
  • Obesity / prevention & control*
  • Obesity / therapy
  • Patient Compliance
  • Patient Dropouts
  • Pediatrics*
  • Physician's Role*
  • Weight Loss*