SEARCH

SEARCH BY CITATION

Keywords:

  • Body mass index;
  • children;
  • group;
  • obesity;
  • overweight;
  • treatment

Abstract

While outcome studies in pediatric obesity have received considerable attention, research on different components of effective interventions remains limited. Little is known which psychological method (i.e., behavior modification, cognitive behavior therapy and family therapy) is most useful or how the choice of program delivery (group/individual) influences the intervention outcomes. Group treatment is of particular interest for two reasons. First, motivation is important for behavior change; in group settings motivation can be increased in two ways: by the group leader and through the interaction with the group participants. Second, group treatment can be more cost-effective than individual approaches (i.e., it requires fewer staff resources and space). This paper aims to comment on the influence of the method choice and delivery in pediatric obesity interventions through discussion of the existing evidence on current programs. In addition, two examples of useful models will be described in more detail: the Yale Bright Bodies Weight Management Program and the Family Weight School. These are outpatients programs both targeting families with severely obese children but through different methodological approaches. Finally, directions for future research will be explored, particularly regarding how the selection of program delivery and psychological method affect treatment outcomes in various populations.