A Pilot Randomized Controlled Trial of a Behavioral Family-Based Intervention With and Without Home Visits to Decrease Obesity in Preschoolers

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Objective Tested two family-based behavioral treatments for obesity in preschool children, one meeting the Expert Committee guidelines for Stage 3 obesity intervention criteria (LAUNCH-clinic) and one exceeding Stage 3 (LAUNCH with home visit [LAUNCH-HV]), compared with a Stage 1 intervention, pediatrician counseling (PC). Methods In all, 42 children aged 2–5 years with a body mass index (BMI) percentile of ≥95th were randomized. A total of 33 met intent-to-treat criteria. Assessments were conducted at baseline, Month 6 (posttreatment), and Month 12 (6-month follow-up). Results LAUNCH-HV demonstrated a significantly greater decrease on the primary outcome of change in BMI z-score (BMIz) pre- to posttreatment compared with PC (p = .007), whereas LAUNCH-clinic was not significantly different from PC (p = .08). Similar results were found for secondary outcomes. Conclusions LAUNCH-HV, but not LAUNCH-clinic, significantly reduced BMIz compared with PC by posttreatment, indicating the need for intensive behavioral intervention, including home visitation, to address weight management in obese preschool children.

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