Children With Morbid Obesity Benefit Equally as Children With Overweight and Obesity From an Ongoing Care Program

J.M. Rijks, J. Plat, R.P. Mensink, E. Dorenbos, W.A. Buurman, A.C. Vreugdenhil*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


CONTEXT: Despite stabilization of childhood overweight and obesity prevalence, there is a shift toward more severe degrees of obesity, which results in an increasing prevalence of children with morbid obesity. Prior studies demonstrated that lifestyle modification without ongoing treatment has only a modest and not sustainable effect in children with morbid obesity. This suggests that a chronic care model is necessary for long-term effects on weight management and health. OBJECTIVE: This study aimed to evaluate the effect of an ongoing lifestyle intervention in children with morbid obesity in comparison with children with overweight and obesity. DESIGN AND SETTING: This was a nonrandomized prospective intervention study with 12- and 24-month followup at the Centre for Overweight Adolescent and Children's Healthcare. PATIENTS AND INTERVENTION: Children and adolescents (n = 100 females and 72 males) with overweight, obesity, or morbid obesity were given long-term, outpatient, tailored lifestyle intervention. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE: Body mass index (BMI) z score was measured. RESULTS: In children with morbid obesity, 12- and 24-month interventions resulted in a decrease of BMI z score of -0.13 +/- 0.25 (P = .001) and -0.23 +/- 0.32 (P = .01) respectively, whereas weight status category improved to obese in 21% and 25% of the children. Cardiovascular risk parameters including serum total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c), and diastolic blood pressure significantly improved after 1-year intervention in the complete group. Most important, BMI z score as well as cardiovascular risk parameters improved to a similar degree in children with overweight, obesity, and morbid obesity. CONCLUSIONS: Children with overweight, obesity, and morbid obesity benefit equally from an ongoing, outpatient, tailored lifestyle intervention, and demonstrate significant weight loss and improvement of cardiovascular risk parameters.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3572-3580
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2015


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