ESPE Abstracts (2016) 86 S6.2

Early Childhood Life Style Intervention and Obesity Outcome

Claude Marcus


Stockholm, Sweden


Background: Treatment of childhood and adolescent obesity is rarely effective if “cure” i.e., BMI below the obesity range, is used as the definition of success. However, results of obesity treatment is much more effective if treatment is initiated in 6–7 years old children. It is therefore urgent to develop interventions for young children, both preventive and obesity treatment efforts. Results from such interventions as well as preliminary results from ongoing studies will be presented.

Results: Population-based prevention studies for young children such as Idefics, Primrose and many others have shown limited results when weight has been the main outcome. Improved parental knowledge about eating habits has been reported and in some studies also short-term effects on weight development have been observed. Early STOPP (Stockholm Obesity Prevention Project) is an ongoing longitudinal randomized controlled study from 1–6 years of age where obese and overweight parents with 1 year old children are targeted. It is well known that their children have a 5–10 times higher risk to develop obesity early in life. Promising results from the first 2–3 years of the intervention based on MI delivered support regarding sleep, physical activity and eating habits provided by health coaches will be presented. It is also unclear if obesity treatment is effective in young children, 4–5 years old. Preliminary results from the More or Less study where parents to 4–5 years old children with obesity are randomized to either to a program focused on parental skills or to standard care will also be presented.

Conclusion: Taken together, the effectiveness of published interventions is limited and we need to learn and accept from these studies what is ineffective so we don’t repeatedly carry through the same ineffective studies only because we hope it will work – next time. However there are some promising interventions indicating that it is possible to reduce overweight and obesity at an early age.

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