What are the most effective interventions to reduce childhood obesity?
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Efforts to increase physical activity or decrease sedentary activities have shown some short-term benefit, and adding dietary changes may be more effective. Aiming interventions at parents, intensive family therapy, comprehensive school-based programs, and selecting motivated children for subspecialty care may improve success. (Grade of recommendation: B, based on poor-quality randomized controlled trials [RCTs] and heterogeneous systematic reviews.) Other potentially effective short-term strategies include screening with body mass index (BMI) for age (grade of recommendation: C, extrapolation from cohort studies and ecological research) or dietary counseling (grade of recommendation: D, conflicting poor-quality RCTs). No drugs are currently approved for pediatric obesity therapy in the United States.
Journal of Family Practice, 51(10) 2002: 891.