Exercise intervention in childhood obesity: a randomized controlled trial comparing hospital-versus home-based groups

Acad Pediatr. Jul-Aug 2012;12(4):319-25. doi: 10.1016/j.acap.2012.03.003. Epub 2012 May 26.


Objective: The aim of this study was to compare the effect of a hospital clinic group- versus home-based combined exercise-diet program for the treatment of childhood obesity.

Methods: One hundred ten overweight/obese Spanish children and adolescents (6-16 years) in 2 intervention groups (hospital clinic group-based [n = 45] and home-based [n = 41]) and a sex-age-matched control group (n = 24) were randomly assigned to participate in a 6-month combined exercise (aerobic and resistance training) and Mediterranean diet program. Anthropometric values (including body weight, height, body mass index, BMI-Z score, and waist circumference) were measured pre- and postintervention for all the participants. Percentage body fat was also determined with a body fat analyzer (TANITA TBF-410 M).

Results: Our study showed a significant reduction in percentage body fat and body mass index Z-score among both intervention-group participants (4%, 0.16, hospital clinic group-based; 4.4%, 0.23, home-based; P < .0001). There was also a significant reduction in waist circumference in the home-based group (4.4 cm; P = .019). Attendance rates at intervention sessions were equivalent for both intervention groups (P = .805).

Conclusions: The study findings indicate that a simple home-based combined exercise and Mediterranean diet program may be effective among overweight and obese children and adolescents, because it improves body composition, is feasible and can be adopted on a large scale without substantial expenses.

Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01503281.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adipose Tissue
  • Adolescent
  • Body Composition
  • Body Mass Index
  • Child
  • Diet Therapy / methods*
  • Diet, Mediterranean
  • Exercise Therapy / methods*
  • Female
  • Home Care Services / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Obesity / therapy*
  • Outpatient Clinics, Hospital / statistics & numerical data*
  • Overweight / therapy*
  • Resistance Training / methods
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Waist Circumference
  • Weight Reduction Programs / methods

Associated data

  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT01503281