Children who lose weight are more likely to keep it off if they participate in a weight-maintenance treatment program, but the effects of the program wane over a period of two years, says a report published in the Oct. 10 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Conducted by a team of researchers led by professors at Washington University’s school of medicine, in St. Louis, the study looked at 150 7- to 12-year-olds in San Diego from 1999 to 2004 who took part in a weight-loss program for five months.
The researchers found that the children who had not participated in any weight-maintenance treatment program after their weight loss regained the weight they had lost, as well as an additional 2.6 percent of their original weight. Children who had completed a weight-maintenance follow-up program were more likely to keep off the weight in a short-term follow-up, but after two years, the effectiveness declined.
An abstract of “Efficacy of Maintenance Treatment Approaches for Childhood Overweight,” is posted by the Journal of the American Medical Association.
A version of this article appeared in the October 17, 2007 edition of Education Week