Objective: This randomized controlled trial was conducted to determine comparative efficacy of a 12-month community-centered weight management program (MEND2-5 for ages 2-5 or MEND/CATCH6-12 for ages 6-12) against a primary care-centered program (Next Steps) in low-income children.
Methods: Five hundred forty-nine Hispanic and black children (BMI ≥ 85th percentile), stratified by age groups (2-5, 6-8, and 9-12 years), were randomly assigned to MEND2-5 (27 contact hours)/MEND/CATCH6-12 (121.5 contact hours) or Next Steps (8 contact hours). Primary (BMI value at the 95th percentile [%BMIp95 ]) and secondary outcomes were measured at baseline, 3 months (Intensive Phase), and 12 months (Transition Phase).
Results: For age group 6-8, MEND/CATCH6-12 resulted in greater improvement in %BMIp95 than Next Steps during the Intensive Phase. Effect size (95% CI) was -1.94 (-3.88, -0.01) percentage points (P = 0.05). For age group 9-12, effect size was -1.38 (-2.87, 0.16) percentage points for %BMIp95 (P = 0.07). MEND2-5 did not differentially affect %BMIp95 . Attendance averaged 52% and 22% during the Intensive and Transition Phases. Intervention compliance was inversely correlated to change in %BMIp95 during the Intensive Phase (P < 0.05). In the Transition Phase, %BMIp95 was maintained or rebounded in both programs (P < 0.05).
Conclusions: MEND/CATCH6-12 was more efficacious for BMI reduction at 3 months but not 12 months compared to Next Steps in underserved children. Intervention compliance influenced outcomes, emphasizing the need for research in sustaining family engagement in low-income populations.
Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT02724943.
© 2017 The Obesity Society.