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Can Home-based Childhood Obesity Prevention Programs Be Effective?

Jul 11, 2013

Taking into consideration the current global epidemic of childhood obesity….

Although there is research about the role of the family and home on obesity risk behaviors the evidence base for the effectiveness of home-based interventions on obesity prevention currently remains uncertain. The objective for this study was to systematically review the effectiveness of home-based interventions on weight and other intermediates such as: diet and physical activity and relate them to clinical outcome.


The methods for this study included a search from Medline, Embase, PsychInfo, CINAHL, clinicaltrials.gov, and the Cochrane Library from inception to gather data and information needed for the review article study. The authors included experimental and natural experimental studies with greater than 1-year follow-up reporting weight-related outcomes and targeting children at home for the final analysis. Two independent reviewers screened studies and extracted data to help maintain the integrity of the study and eliminate sources of bias. To maintain the honesty of the study the authors also graded the strength of the evidence supporting interventions targeting diet, physical activity or both for obesity prevention in children.

Results identified by the authors included 6 studies and 3 tested with combined interventions of diet and physical activity and one study that only used a diet intervention. Another two studies included in the results used combined intervention with primary care and a consumer health informatics components and the other involved a combined intervention with school and community components. Select combined interventions had beneficial effects on fruit and vegetable intake and sedentary behaviors. Nevertheless, none of the 6 studies reported a significant effect on weight outcomes during the final analysis of the results. Overall, the authors suggested that the strength of evidence is low that combined home-based interventions effectively prevent obesity. The research in this study shows that the evidence is insufficient for conclusions about home-based diet interventions or interventions implemented at home in association with other settings.

In conclusion to the research the strength of evidence is low to support the effectiveness of home-based child obesity prevention programs as noted by the authors at the conclusion of the research. Additional research is still needed to test interventions in the home setting, particularly those incorporating parenting strategies and addressing environmental influences. However, based off the results of parallel research diet and healthy life style including physical activity certainly have a relatively significant role on the effects of childhood as well as adulthood obesity, cardiovascular and diabetics complication.

Showell, Nakiya N. "A Systematic Review of Home-Based Childhood Obesity Prevention Studies."Pediatrics, American Academy of Pediatrics. (April 6, 2013 ): n. page. Web. 8 Jul. 2013.