A Multi-Component Day-Camp Weight-Loss Program Is Effective in Reducing BMI in Children after One Year: A Randomized Controlled Trial

Kristian Traberg Larsen, Tao Huang, Mathias Ried-Larsen, Lars Bo Andersen, Malene Heidemann, Niels Christian Møller

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Abstract

The objective of the present study was to evaluate the effectiveness of a one-year multi-component immersive day-camp weight-loss intervention for children with overweight and obesity. The study design was a parallel-group randomized controlled trial. One hundred fifteen 11-13-year-old children with overweight and obesity were randomized into either: A six-week day-camp intervention arm focusing on increased physical activity, and healthy diet followed by a subsequent one-year family-based intervention, or a standard intervention arm consisting of one weekly exercise session for six weeks. Body mass index (BMI) was the primary outcome. BMI z-score, clustered cardiovascular risk z-score, and body composition were secondary outcomes. All outcomes were measured at baseline, six week-, and 52 week follow-up. After six weeks, children from the day-camp intervention arm had improved their BMI (-2.2 kg/m2 (95% CI -2.6 to -1.7, P<0.001)) and all secondary outcomes when compared to the children from the standard intervention arm. After 52 weeks, the day-camp intervention arm had a lower BMI (-1.2 kg/m2 (95% CI -1.8 to -0.5, P = 0.001)), and BMI z-score (-0.20 (95% CI -0.35 to -0.05, P = 0.008)), and clustered cardiovascular risk z-score (-0.23 (95% CI -0.37 to -0.08, P = 0.002)) compared to the standard intervention arm. No group differences were detected in body composition after 52 weeks. This study shows that the day-camp intervention arm is effective in reducing BMI and improving the metabolic health of children with overweight and obesity. However, the effects seem to be diminishing over time.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0157182
JournalP L o S One
Volume11
Issue number6
Number of pages16
ISSN1932-6203
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2016

Keywords

  • Journal Article

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