Pediatr Obes 2021 Jan 20;16(1):e12693. Epub 2020 Jul 20.
Liggins Institute, University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand.
Objective: To determine whether 12-month BMI SDS reductions persisted at 24 months in a multi-disciplinary assessment and intervention program for children and adolescents with obesity, and whether secondary outcomes improved.
Methods: This was a community-based 12-month RCT in Aotearoa/New Zealand. Eligible participants were aged 5 to 16 years with BMI ≥98th centile or BMI >91st centile with weight-related comorbidities. The low-intensity control received comprehensive home-based baseline assessments and advice, and 6-monthly follow-up. The high-intensity intervention received the same assessments and advice, but also weekly multidisciplinary sessions. Primary outcome was BMI SDS at 12 months. Secondary outcomes included cardiovascular and metabolic markers.
Results: 121 participants (60% of participants at baseline) were assessed at 24 months. BMI SDS reduction at 12 months was lost at 24 months in the modified intention-to-treat analysis [Control -0.03 (95%CI -0.14, 0.09) and Intervention -0.02 (-0.12, 0.08); P = .93]. However, sweet drink intake was reduced, water intake increased, and there were improvements in cardiovascular fitness in the high-intensity intervention. ≥70% attendance in the high-intensity intervention resulted in a persistent BMI SDS reduction of -0.22 after 24 months (95%CI -0.38, -0.06).
Conclusions: This trial was negative in terms of primary outcome at 24 months. However, high engagement led to sustained treatment effect, and there were multiple improvements in health measures.