As many will recall, Catherine Birken and her team in Toronto are leading one of our Team ABC3 studies – a pilot RCT of a home-based intervention (+ community support) for young children with severe obesity. Although home-based interventions for managing pediatric obesity are still novel, some interesting evidence is emerging.
Spurrier et al (2016) recently published data from an Australian pilot study (n=24 children; single arm trial; pre-post lifestyle intervention; data collected at 0- and 6-months) of a home-based weight management intervention for 4-12 year olds. Overall, the results highlighted issues of feasibility and interest from families, but the low-intensity intervention (3 in-person home visits + 2 follow-up phone calls over 6 months) had a modest impact on lifestyle habits and weight status, which shouldn’t come as a surprise. As the authors stated: “The lack of intervention effect may reflect the need for more intensive and ongoing support particularly with respect to competing demands on family time and resources.”
In light of evidence suggesting that at least 26 hours of contact between families and healthcare professionals is needed to provide an adequate intervention ‘dose’ to have a positive impact on the weight status of children with obesity, our Team ABC3 study appears to be better designed to examine the impact of a home-based intervention on the weight and health of children with obesity.