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Summer Healthy-Lifestyle Intervention Program for Young Children Who Are Overweight: Results from a Nonrandomized Pilot Trial

Graziano, Paulo A. PhD*; Garcia, Alexis MS*; Lim, Crystal S. PhD

Journal of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics: November/December 2017 - Volume 38 - Issue 9 - p 723–727
doi: 10.1097/DBP.0000000000000499
Original Articles

Objective: To examine initial outcomes of an 8-week Healthy-Lifestyle Intervention Program (HIP) which included children's participation in a daily summer camp along with parents' participation in a parenting program focused on overweight/obesity.

Methods: Using a nonrandomized pilot trial design, 16 children (M child age = 6.42 yr; 81% male; 100% Latino) classified as overweight/obese and their mothers completed 3 assessments (baseline, posttreatment, and 6–8 mo follow-up).

Results: Children who completed HIP experienced significant decreases in their body mass index z-scores (primary outcome) from baseline to posttreatment (d = −1.11) with such decreases being moderately maintained at follow-up (d = −0.64). In terms of secondary outcomes, HIP was effective in improving and maintaining healthy habits in both children and mothers and children's nutritional knowledge and fitness. Objective food data showed that children's dietary intake during HIP improved. High attendance and satisfaction were reported for families who completed HIP.

Conclusion: This pilot treatment development study shows that a family lifestyle intervention conducted in a summer camp setting that targets both children and parents is a promising option for addressing pediatric obesity in young children.

*Center for Children and Families, Department of Psychology, Florida International University, Miami, FL;

Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior, University of Mississippi Medical Center, Jackson, MS.

Address for reprints: Paulo A. Graziano, PhD, Center for Children and Families, Department of Psychology, Florida International University, 11200 SW 8th St, AHC 4 Rm. 459, Miami, FL 33199; e-mail:

Disclosure: The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Received December , 2016

Accepted July , 2017

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