Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Nutrition, Dietetics, and Food Sciences

Committee Chair(s)

Nedra K. Christensen


Nedra K. Christensen


Korry Hintze


Ann M. Berghout Austin


Heidi J. Wengreen


J. Nicholls Eastmond


Few studies have evaluated structured, long-term, family-based, weight management programs in children. This study’s purpose was to determine if completion of such a program resulted in reduced body mass index (BMI) z-scores and improved lifestyle habits.

An observational study overtime from 2008-2010 was conducted with 89
overweight/obese children. Subjects were divided into two groups, compliers (completed ≥ 7 intervention classes) and non-compliers (completedclasses.) The LiVe program, a 12-month structured, multi-component, family-based program, served as the study intervention. Anthropometric measurements and a written survey on lifestyle habits were used to obtain changes over 12 months in anthropometric, nutrition, activity, and behavior habits for subjects.

Descriptive statistics, chi square, analysis of co-variance, and a mixed model
logistic regression were used to determine anthropometric and lifestyle habits change
over time as well as differences between age, gender, and compliance groups. No
demographic differences were seen between compliance groups. Compliers had a
significant decrease in BMI z-score (-0.1903 p=.0004) and BMI percentile (-2.02
p=.0235) over time. Compliers had a higher probability of meeting vegetable intake (pre 0.31%, post 55.67%; p=p=.0032) post intervention. Males were more likely than females to meet the physical activity guideline (p=.0007). Both compliers and non-compliers had a higher probability of meeting fruit (p=.0015) and sugar-sweetened beverage intake guidelines (p=.0337) at 12 months. No significant differences in age and gender were seen for changes in anthropometric or lifestyle habits except as noted above.

Long-term, family-based, structured weight management programs are effective
in reducing BMI z-scores and improving lifestyle habits in children. Continued
development and evaluation of these programs is warranted to address childhood obesity treatment methods.




This work made publicly available electronically on May 11, 2011.

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