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Testing a multicomponent lifestyle intervention for combatting childhood obesity

  • Vlaev, Ivo1
  • Taylor, Michael J.2, 3
  • Taylor, David3
  • Gately, Paul4
  • Gunn, Laura H.5, 3
  • Abeles, Aliza3
  • Kerkadi, Abdelhamid6
  • Lothian, Jackie4
  • Jreige, Sahar Karim6
  • Alsaadi, Aziza7
  • Al-Kuwari, Mohamed G.8
  • Ghuloum, Suhaila9
  • Al-Kuwari, Hanan9
  • Darzi, Ara3
  • Ahmedna, Mohamed10
  • 1 University of Warwick, Coventry, UK , Coventry (United Kingdom)
  • 2 University of Nottingham, Nottingham, UK , Nottingham (United Kingdom)
  • 3 Imperial College London, London, UK , London (United Kingdom)
  • 4 Leeds Beckett University, Leeds, UK , Leeds (United Kingdom)
  • 5 University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Charlotte, USA , Charlotte (United States)
  • 6 Qatar University, Doha, Qatar , Doha (Qatar)
  • 7 Supreme Education Council, Doha, Qatar , Doha (Qatar)
  • 8 Aspetar Aspire, Doha, Qatar , Doha (Qatar)
  • 9 Hamad Medical Corporation, Doha, Qatar , Doha (Qatar)
  • 10 North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, Greensboro, USA , Greensboro (United States)
Published Article
BMC Public Health
Springer (Biomed Central Ltd.)
Publication Date
Apr 29, 2021
DOI: 10.1186/s12889-021-10838-1
Springer Nature


BackgroundChildhood obesity is a major global health concern. Weight-management camps involving delivery of a program of physical activity, health education, and healthy eating are an effective treatment, although post-intervention weight-management is less well understood. Our objective was to assess the effectiveness of a weight-management camp followed by a community intervention in supporting weight-management for overweight children and children with obesity.MethodsParticipants were overweight Qatari schoolchildren or schoolchildren with obesity, ages 8–14 years, (n = 300) recruited over a three-year period across 14 randomly selected schools in the Doha area. They attended a two-week weight management camp, then a 10-week program of weekly lifestyle education and physical activity sessions, which also included behavior change techniques. The programme was cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT)-focused with a strong element of behavioural economics blended in.ResultsParticipants saw a significant BMI SDS reduction as a result of the entire intervention (camp + education and activity sessions) both at the individual (p < 0.0001) and cluster/school (p = 0.0002) levels, and weight loss occurred during each intervention stage separately for the camp (p < 0.0001 for both the individual and cluster/school levels) and the lifestyle education and activity phase (p < 0.0001 and p = 0.0220 at the individual and cluster/school levels, respectively).ConclusionsWeekly lifestyle education and activity sessions which include behavior change techniques may be useful in promoting continued weight management in the period following intensive, immersive childhood obesity interventions.Trial NCT02972164, November 23, 2016.

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