A parent-led family-focused treatment program for overweight children aged 5 to 9 years : The PEACH RCT

Magarey, Anthea, Perry, Rebecca, Baur, Louise, Steinbeck, Katharine, Sawyer, Michael, Hills, Andrew, Wilson, Gizelle, Lee, Anthea, & Daniels, Lynne (2011) A parent-led family-focused treatment program for overweight children aged 5 to 9 years : The PEACH RCT. Pediatrics, 127(2), pp. 214-222.

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To evaluate a healthy lifestyle intervention to reduce adiposity in children aged 5 to 9 years and assess whether adding parenting skills training would enhance this effect.


We conducted a single-blinded randomized controlled trial of prepubertal moderately obese (International Obesity Task Force cut points) children, aged 5 to 9 years. The 6-month program targeted parents as the agents of change for implementing family lifestyle changes. Only parents attended group sessions. We measured BMI and waist z scores and parenting constructs at baseline, 6, 12, 18, 24 months.


Participants (n = 169; 56% girls) were randomized to a parenting skills plus healthy lifestyle group (n = 85) or a healthy lifestyle–only group (n = 84). At final 24-month assessment 52 and 54 children remained in the parenting skills plus healthy lifestyle and the healthy lifestyle–only groups respectively. There were reductions (P < .001) in BMI z score (0.26 [95% confidence interval: 0.22–0.30]) and waist z score (0.33 [95% confidence interval: 0.26–0.40]). There was a 10% reduction in z scores from baseline to 6 months that was maintained to 24 months with no additional intervention. Overall, there was no significant group effect. A similar pattern of initial improvement followed by stability was observed for parenting outcomes and no group effect.


Using approaches that specifically target parent behavior, relative weight loss of ∼10% is achievable in moderately obese prepubertal children and can be maintained for 2 years from baseline. These results justify an investment in treatment as an effective secondary obesity-prevention strategy.

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ID Code: 52440
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional Information: Articles free to read on journal website after 12 months
Keywords: child, obesity, treatment, parenting, BMI, waist circumference
DOI: 10.1542/peds.2009-1432
ISSN: 0031-4005
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > PAEDIATRICS AND REPRODUCTIVE MEDICINE (111400)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Deposited On: 19 Jul 2012 06:30
Last Modified: 29 Jan 2015 03:16

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