Program

Mar 14, 2013

OVERVIEW

The Physical Training Program for Obese Children is a provider-based physical training program designed to decrease health risk factors in obese children. In an evaluation of the program, 74 obese children were randomly assigned either to receive the intervention or to a no-treatment control group. Results indicated that, by the end of the intervention period, children in the Physical Training Program for Obese Children group improved their body composition, aerobic fitness, and physical activity relative to children in the control group.

DESCRIPTION OF PROGRAM

Target population: Obese children between the ages of 7 and 11.

The Physical Training Program for Obese Children is a provider-based physical training intervention designed to combat the health risk factors that contribute to obesity. The intervention consists of daily, 40-minute exercise sessions and is implemented over a 4-month period. The first 20 minutes of each session requires participants to use exercise machines (e.g. treadmill, stationary bike, trampoline, etc.), and the remaining 20 minutes consists of game play (e.g. basketball, dodge ball, tag, etc.). Children are given monetary and prize incentives to attend the exercise sessions.

EVALUATION(S) OF PROGRAM

Owens, S., Gutin, B., Allison, J., Riggs, S., Ferguson, M., Litaker, M., & Thompson, W. (1999). Effect of physical training on total and visceral fat in obese children. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 31(1), 143-148.

Evaluated population: 74 children between the ages of 7 and 11 who scored in the 85th percentile or above on measures of skinfold thickness and were living in the Atlanta, Georgia area served as the sample for this evaluation. Thirty-four percent of the participants were male, and 66% were female. The race/ethnicity breakdown was as follows: 54% black, 45% white, and 1% Asian American.

Approach: Upon entrance into the study, participants were randomly assigned either to receive the Physical Training Program for Obese Children intervention or to a no-treatment control group. Participants in the intervention group attended daily, 40-minute exercise sessions over a four-month period. All participants were measured for body composition, aerobic fitness, and daily physical activity at baseline and four months later, immediately following the conclusion of the intervention.

Results: Results indicated that children in the intervention group experienced a significantly greater decrease in total body fat percentage and a significantly greater increase in total body fat-free mass. Additionally, the control group experienced significantly greater increases in high-risk abdominal fat over the four-month period relative to the intervention group. Finally, children in the intervention group experienced significantly greater decreases in exercise heart rate and significantly greater increases in participation in moderate to heavy physical activity relative to children in the control group.

SOURCES FOR MORE INFORMATION

References:

Owens, S., Gutin, B., Allison, J., Riggs, S., Ferguson, M., Litaker, M., & Thompson, W. (1999). Effect of physical training on total and visceral fat in obese children. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 31(1), 143-148.

KEYWORDS: Children, Adolescents, Middle Childhood (6-11); Black or African American; White or Caucasian; Clinic/Provider-Based, Physical Health; Obesity

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