Effectiveness of interventions on physical activity in overweight or obese children: a systematic review and meta-analysis including studies with objectively measured outcomes

Authors

  • C. F. J. Nooijen,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Public Health Sciences, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden
    • Address for correspondence: Dr CFJ Nooijen. Epidemiology and Public Health Intervention Research (EPHIR) Group, Department of Public Health Sciences, Karolinska Institutet, Widerströmska huset, 10th floor, Tomtebodavägen 18A, Stockholm 17177, Sweden.

      E-mail: carla.nooijen@ki.se

    Search for more papers by this author
  • M. R. Galanti,

    1. Department of Public Health Sciences, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden
    2. Centre for Epidemiology and Community Medicine, Stockholm Health Care District, Stockholm, Sweden
    Search for more papers by this author
  • K. Engström,

    1. Department of Public Health Sciences, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden
    2. Centre for Epidemiology and Community Medicine, Stockholm Health Care District, Stockholm, Sweden
    Search for more papers by this author
  • J. Möller,

    1. Department of Public Health Sciences, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden
    2. Centre for Epidemiology and Community Medicine, Stockholm Health Care District, Stockholm, Sweden
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Y. Forsell

    1. Department of Public Health Sciences, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden
    2. Centre for Epidemiology and Community Medicine, Stockholm Health Care District, Stockholm, Sweden
    Search for more papers by this author

Summary

There is no consensus on interventions to be recommended in order to promote physical activity among overweight or obese children. The objective of this review was to assess the effects on objectively measured physical activity, of interventions promoting physical activity among overweight or obese children or adolescents, compared to no intervention or to interventions without a physical activity component. Publications up to December 2015 were located through electronic searches for randomized controlled trials resulting in inclusion of 33 studies. Standardized mean differences from baseline to post-intervention and to long-term follow-up were determined for intervention and control groups and meta-analysed using random effects models. The meta-analysis showed that interventions had no effect on total physical activity of overweight and obese children, neither directly post-intervention (−0.02 [−0.15, 0.11]) nor at long-term follow-up (0.07 [−0.27, 0.40]). Separate analyses by typology of intervention (with or without physical fitness, behavioural or environmental components) showed similar results (no effect). In conclusion, there is no evidence that currently available interventions are able to increase physical activity among overweight or obese children. This questions the contribution of physical activity to the treatment of overweight and obesity in children in the studied interventions and calls for other treatment strategies.

Ancillary