Background and aim Established overweight is difficult to reverse. Our aim was to examine the effect of a family oriented intervention program on prevention of persistent overweight in young children at risk.
Methods Parents of overweight pre-school children from half of Oppland county, Norway, were invited to participate in an 3-year structured intervention program which included both group and individually based parental guidance by nurses, paediatricians, nutritionists, psychologists and physiotherapists. Similarly overweight children from the rest of the county, who received no guidance or information about the program, served as controls. Inclusion criterion was weight ≥ 1kg above the 97.5 percentile for height according to Norwegian growth charts.
Results Of 50 invited families, 44 were followed through 3 years; 31 of them adhered to the program as scheduled. The sex distribution was similar for the intervention (n=44) and the control (n=30) group (61% vs 63% girls). At entry, the mean (SD) age and mean (SD) body mass index (BMI) of the intervention group were somewhat higher (79±11, vs 70±6 months, p<0.0005, and 22.1 vs 20.3 kg/m2, p=0.003). The subsequent mean 3-year increase in BMI was similar for both groups (intervention 2.6±2.2 vs controls 2.1±2.2 kg/m2, p=0.35; for the 31 who adhered to the program 2.5±2.0, p=0.52 compared to the controls).
Conclusion This 3-year multidisciplinary and multimodal program did not show a benefit on weight development.