Pediatric Highlight

International Journal of Obesity (2008) 32, 1481–1488; doi:10.1038/ijo.2008.96; published online 8 July 2008

Impact of a child obesity intervention on dietary intake and behaviors

Address of institutions at which the work was carried out: University of Newcastle, Newcastle, NSW 2308, Australia; University of Wollongong, Wollongong, NSW 2522, Australia.

T Burrows1, J M Warren1,2, L A Baur3 and C E Collins1

  1. 1Faculty of Health, School of Health Sciences, University of Newcastle, Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia
  2. 2MRC, Human Nutrition Research, Elsie Widdowson Laboratory, Cambridge, UK
  3. 3University of Sydney, Discipline of Paediatrics & Child Health, The Children's Hospital at Westmead, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Correspondence: Associate Professor CE Collins, Nutrition and Dietetics, School of Health Sciences, Faculty of Health, University of Newcastle, Mail Box 38, Hunter Building, University Drive, Callaghan, Newcastle, NSW 2308, Australia. E-mail:

Received 4 February 2008; Revised 30 May 2008; Accepted 5 June 2008; Published online 8 July 2008.





The aims of this study were to describe the dietary intakes and food behavior changes of overweight and obese children participating in the Hunter Illawarra Kids Challenge Using Parent Support (HIKCUPS) study and to describe the impact of a best practice dietary modification program.



A multicenter randomized controlled trial with allocation to one of three intervention arms: (1) parent-centered nutrition lifestyle program; (2) child-centered physical activity skill development program; or (3) both the programs.



One hundred and sixty-five overweight, pre-pubertal children 5–9 years of age (58% female).



Dietary intake was assessed at baseline, 6 and 12 months post-commencement of the program using a semiquantitative food frequency questionnaire.



After 6 and 12 months, all groups improved their dietary intake, with no differences detected between groups (P>0.05). Total quantity of food (g) and kJkg−1 decreased significantly at both time points (P<0.05). Percent energy derived from core food groups, except fruit, increased significantly at 12 months compared to baseline (P<0.05), and non-core foods decreased, with the largest decreases being for sweetened drinks (5.0±0.4 vs 2.9±0.3% of energy baseline to 12 months, P<0.001) and packaged lunch box snacks (5.4±0.3 vs 4.1±0.3% of energy baseline to 12 months, P<0.001).



All treatment groups in the HIKCUPS study appear to be equally efficacious in improving dietary intake in overweight and obese children.


pediatric, diet, questionnaire, treatment, children



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