A Review of Primary Care-Based Childhood Obesity Prevention and Treatment Interventions

Curr Obes Rep. 2015 Jun;4(2):157-73. doi: 10.1007/s13679-015-0160-0.


Effective obesity prevention and treatment interventions targeting children and their families are needed to help curb the obesity epidemic. Pediatric primary care is a promising setting for these interventions, and a growing number of studies are set in this context. This review aims to identify randomized controlled trials of pediatric primary care-based obesity interventions. A literature search of 3 databases retrieved 2947 publications, of which 2899 publications were excluded after abstract (n=2722) and full-text review (n=177). Forty-eight publications, representing 31 studies, were included in the review. Eight studies demonstrated a significant intervention effect on child weight outcomes (e.g., BMI z-score, weight-for-length percentile). Effective interventions were mainly treatment interventions, and tended to focus on multiple behaviors, contain weight management components, and include monitoring of weight-related behaviors (e.g., dietary intake, physical activity, or sedentary behaviors). Overall, results demonstrate modest support for the efficacy of obesity treatment interventions set in primary care.

Keywords: Childhood obesity; Prevention; Primary care; Treatment.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Body Weight*
  • Health Behavior*
  • Humans
  • Life Style*
  • Pediatric Obesity / prevention & control*
  • Primary Health Care*
  • Primary Prevention*