Randomised clinical trial of a family-based lifestyle intervention for childhood obesity involving parents as the exclusive agents of change

Behav Res Ther. 2010 Dec;48(12):1170-9. doi: 10.1016/j.brat.2010.08.008. Epub 2010 Sep 6.


Parent-centred interventions for childhood obesity aim to improve parents' skills and confidence in managing children's dietary and activity patterns, and in promoting a healthy lifestyle in their family. However, few studies assess changes in parenting over the course of treatment. This study describes the evaluation of a lifestyle-specific parenting program (Group Lifestyle Triple P) on multiple child and parent outcomes. One-hundred-and-one families with overweight and obese 4- to 11-year-old children participated in an intervention or waitlist control condition. The 12-week intervention was associated with significant reductions in child BMI z score and weight-related problem behaviour. At the end of the intervention, parents reported increased confidence in managing children's weight-related behaviour, and less frequent use of inconsistent or coercive parenting practices. All short-term intervention effects were maintained at one-year follow-up assessment, with additional improvements in child body size. The results support the efficacy of Group Lifestyle Triple P and suggest that parenting influences treatment outcomes. Further research is needed to evaluate the long-term effectiveness of the intervention and to elucidate the mechanisms of change.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Behavior Therapy / methods*
  • Body Mass Index
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Consumer Behavior
  • Family / psychology*
  • Female
  • Health Behavior
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Obesity / psychology
  • Obesity / therapy*
  • Parent-Child Relations
  • Parents*
  • Risk Reduction Behavior