Role of Parents in Body Mass Reduction in Children with Obesity-Adherence and Success of 1-Year Participation in an Intervention Program

Medicina (Kaunas). 2020 Apr 9;56(4):168. doi: 10.3390/medicina56040168.


Background and Objectives: Obesity in children and adolescents results in a number of serious health-related consequences necessitating early treatment. Support from family members and family-focused lifestyle interventions can improve effectiveness of the treatment. The aim of the study was to assess the effects of parental characteristics and family-based dietary habits on the adherence and success of a body mass reduction program in children with obesity included in a lifestyle intervention program after 1 year. Materials and Methods: The program included dietetic, psychosocial, and endocrine counseling given to individuals either alone or in groups and was conducted by a multidisciplinary team (consisting of endocrinologists, nurses, psychologists, social counselors, dietitians, and physiotherapists). A total of 113 children aged 10-17 years (mean age 12.9 ± 2.0; 60 girls, 53 boys) were included in the program. After 1 year of participation, the rate of adherence and success were assessed. The effect of the participants' general characteristics, including anthropometric data, as well as parental characteristics (marital status, employment, education, body mass index (BMI), duration of breastfeeding) and the circumstances of meal consumption (eating at home or outside, fast food consumption), was analyzed. Results: The most important factors predicting body mass reduction success were baseline BMI (p < 0.0001) and waist-hip ratio (WHR) (p = 0.04), but they did not predict body mass reduction adherence. Conclusions: The meal consumption habits and support from family members may be among the determinants of adherence to a body mass reduction program for preadolescents and adolescents with obesity. However, the results of the presented study suggested that baseline BMI and WHR are the most important determinants of the body mass reduction success.

Keywords: adolescents; body mass reduction program; dietary intervention; meal consumption habits; multidisciplinary approach; obesity; parents; preadolescents.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Body Mass Index
  • Child
  • Croatia
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Parent-Child Relations
  • Parents / psychology*
  • Pediatric Obesity / physiopathology
  • Pediatric Obesity / therapy*
  • Treatment Adherence and Compliance / psychology
  • Treatment Adherence and Compliance / statistics & numerical data*
  • Weight Reduction Programs / methods
  • Weight Reduction Programs / standards*