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KidQuest Family-Based Weight Control

This study has been completed.
National Institutes of Health (NIH)
Information provided by:
University of Pittsburgh Identifier:
First received: September 12, 2005
Last updated: February 15, 2008
Last verified: February 2008
The purpose of this study is to determine if a family based diet and exercise program is helpful for extremely overweight children aged 8-12, and to compare this approach to standard medical management of severe pediatric obesity.

Condition Intervention
Behavior Behavioral: Family-based treatment

Study Type: Interventional
Study Design: Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: Open Label
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: Family-Based Treatment of Severe Pediatric Obesity

Further study details as provided by University of Pittsburgh:

Primary Outcome Measures:
  • BMI and cardiovascular risk factors [ Time Frame: 0,6,12,18 ]

Secondary Outcome Measures:
  • Eating, activity, and psychosocial functioning [ Time Frame: 0,6,12,18 ]

Enrollment: 192
Study Start Date: July 2001
Study Completion Date: May 2006
Primary Completion Date: May 2006 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
Arms Assigned Interventions
No Intervention: A
Enhanced usual care: 2 free, individual consultations with a nutritionist over first 6 months. Medical monitoring throughout study period.
Experimental: B Behavioral: Family-based treatment
20 weekly group contacts with individual coaching over first 6 months, brief monthly contacts over next 6 months, no contacts over last 6 months. Medical monitoring throughout study period.

Detailed Description:

The prevalence of pediatric obesity has increased significantly, and approximately 11% of American children and adolescents are obese. Of particular concern, the greatest increase in prevalence has occured among the heaviest children. Severe pediatric obesity (defined as > 150% of ideal body weight for height) is associated with higher rates of medical and psychosocial morbidity than milder obesity is. Moreover, severely obese children are likelier than less severely obese children are to become obese adults and suffer the long-term health consequences of obesity. Although the efficacy of family-based behavioral weight control programs in the treatment of moderate pediatric obesity is well established, few studies have focused on the treatment of severe obesity. Thus in this application, we propose a randomized controlled trial to evaluate the efficacy of a family-based behavioral weight control program in the management of severe pediatric obesity.

Two hundred children aged 8-12 will be randomized to a six-month family-based program or usual care, and will complete assessments at pre- and post- treatment and 6-month and 12-month follow-ups. We hypothesized that: 1) Children who participate in the family-based program, when compared to children who receive usual care, will show favorable changes in body mass index, body composition, food intake, activity level, and cardiovascular risk factors. 2) Children who participate in the family-based program, when compared to children who receive usual care, will report higher levels of self-esteem, social competence and health-related quality of life, and report fewer psychiatric symptoms. A secondary aim of the the proposed investigation is to examine the relationships among gender, race, compliance to diet and exercise. level of parent adherence and treatment outcome. The proposed investigation is significant as the first effort to systematically evaluate a treatment program for severely obese children. It will provide data about a serious public health problem and establish a foundation for programmatic research to develop effective treatments for an underserved population.


Ages Eligible for Study:   8 Years to 12 Years   (Child)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Be >150% of ideal body weight for height and age based on norms of the World Health Organization.
  • Have at least one parent or guardian who will participate in the treatment program with child.

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Mental retardation, pervasive developmental disorder or psychosis, psychiatric symptomatology sufficiently severe to require immediate treatment.
  • Genetic obesity syndrome as determined by the study physician.
  • Currently receiving obesity treatment and/or participating in a weight management program.
  • Inability to engage in moderate exercise defined as 30 minutes of vigorous activity on most days of the week.
  • Acute or severe medical conditions that require aggressive weight management intervention (e.g., diabetes pseudotumor cerebri, or hypoventilation).
  • Regular use of a medication that affects body weight such as oral steroids or antipsychotic medications.
  • Taking stimulant or antidepressant medication for a period < four months.
  Contacts and Locations
Choosing to participate in a study is an important personal decision. Talk with your doctor and family members or friends about deciding to join a study. To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the Contacts provided below. For general information, see Learn About Clinical Studies.

Please refer to this study by its identifier: NCT00177229

Sponsors and Collaborators
University of Pittsburgh
National Institutes of Health (NIH)
Principal Investigator: Marsha D. Marcus, Ph.D. Western Psychiatric Insitute & Clinic
  More Information

Responsible Party: Marsha D. Marcus, Ph.D., Professor of Psychiatry, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine Identifier: NCT00177229     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: 0405048
Study First Received: September 12, 2005
Last Updated: February 15, 2008 processed this record on June 23, 2017