Introduction: Childhood obesity is widely recognized as a prominent challenge in the 21st century. The family holds considerable potential in effectively managing this concern, by incorporating behavioral modifications into the child's dietary patterns and physical activity engagement. The aim of this study was to determine the effectiveness of a family-centered, behavioral modifications package in improving the eating behavior, BMI percentile, and abdominal circumference of obese school-age girls.
Methods & Materials: A randomized clinical trial was conducted on a cohort of 80 obese female students aged 7-12 in Mashhad between 2020 and 2021. Data were collected using a demographic information Questionnaire and the Children's Eating Behavior Questionnaire (CEBQ). Following a 3D body scanning procedure, a seven-session intervention program was implemented. Six month later, a reassessment was carried out, encompassing the evaluation of BMI percentile, 3D body scanning, and re-administration of the questionnaires. Data were analyzed through SPSS version 24, utilizing paired t-tests, independent t-tests, and multivariate analysis of variance.
Results: Following the intervention, significant increases were observed in scores for enjoyment of food, satiety responsiveness, and slowness in eating. Conversely, scores for food responsiveness, emotional overeating, emotional undereating, and food fussiness displayed a decrease. However, the differences did not reach statistical significance following the intervention (p>0.05). Notably, changes in BMI percentile and abdominal circumference displayed a statistically significant difference between the two groups after the intervention (p<0.05).
Conclusion: Family-centered behavioral modifications program represents an appropriate approach for modifying a child's eating behavior, resulting in a success rate exceeding 10% in weight reduction.