A dramatic increase in prevalence of pediatric obesity has occurred in most countries over the past few decades. This is of particular significance given the fact that overweight children and adolescents are at increased risk for multiple medical co-morbidities, as well as psychosocial and behavioral difficulties. While considerable attention has recently been paid to identifying obesity and the importance of associated co-morbidities, there has been less focus on considerations related to effective interventions.
Interventions aimed at childhood obesity include prevention and treatment. Both prevention and treatment need improvement to be useful in the clinical setting. Few investigators have demonstrated that treatment is effective. The aim of this review is to examine the effectiveness of family-based interventions in obese pediatric subjects and to explore what specific components of family-based programs are of particular significance when treating obese children. A literature search was performed and relevant studies are presented. A majority of the studies support the use of family-based treatment. Furthermore, to develop a fully interactive model, more focus is needed on the specific techniques used in evidence-based programs.