Introduction: The present study describes a randomised controlled trial (RCT) based on a novel, generalisable intervention for childhood obesity, comparing the intervention with a no-treatment control group.
Method: The Malaysian Childhood Obesity Treatment Trial (MASCOT) was a single-blind RCT of a dietetic treatment for childhood obesity in children of primary school age (7 to 11 years old) in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The MASCOT comprising eight sessions, of an 8-hour family-centred group treatment programme is described, based on behavioural change techniques. The study sample was characterised by BMI z-score, health related quality of life reported by participants and their parents (PedsQL questionnaire), objectively measured habitual physical activity and sedentary behaviour (Actigraph accelerometry)
Results: The MASCOT sample of 107 children was characterised by a low quality of life, mean total score on PedsQL 67.7 (4.5) as reported by the children, and 66.0 (16.4) as reported by their parents. The children spent, on average, 89% of their waking day on sedentary activity, and 1% of the day in moderate-vigorous intensity physical activity, equivalent to only around 8 minutes/day.
Conclusion: Obese children in the MASCOT study had an impaired quality of life, high levels of sedentary behaviour and very low levels of physical activity.