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America On the Move®* Family Study
This study investigated whether excessive weight gain could be prevented in overweight children who participated in a fun, family-based, child-oriented program, Families on the Move! (FOM) that encouraged all family members to make 2 small, healthy lifestyle changes. FOM is based on the U.S. national weight-gain prevention initiative, America On the Move®*.
Title: Effectiveness of Families on the Move! A Family-Based Approach for Preventing Excessive Weight Gain in Children
SJ Rodearmel, EdD, VL Grotz, PhD, LA Goldsmith, PhD VMD, SM Smith, BS, LG Ogden, PhD, HR Wyatt, MD, JR Moran, MD and JO Hill, PhD.
Center for Human Nutrition, University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, Denver, CO, United States and Medical & Nutritional Affairs, McNeil Nutritionals LLC, Fort Washington, PA, United States.
Physical inactivity and high-fat and high-sugar diets have been suggested to contribute to the increase in overweight children. While there is agreement about the urgent need to address this issue, there are few proven effective preventative strategies.
To investigate whether excessive weight gain could be prevented in overweight (OW) children who participated in a fun, family-based, child-oriented program, Families on the Move! (FOM) that encouraged all family members to make 2 small, healthy lifestyle changes. FOM is based on the U.S. national weight-gain prevention initiative, America On the Move®*.
Families with at least 1 OW child (7-14 yrs, 85th% BMI for age) were randomly assigned to the FOM or self-monitor (SM) group. FOM families (n=111) set individual and family-specific goals for making 2 changes: (1) increase physical activity by 2,000 steps/day; (2) eliminate 100 kcals/day from their diets with an emphasis on replacing dietary sugars with SPLENDA® No Calorie Sweetener or beverages made with SPLENDA® Brand Sweetener (sucralose). SM families (n=105) were asked to maintain and monitor their usual physical activity and food intake. Both groups measured physical activity using step counters and completed a sweets frequency survey and food diaries to record dietary intake.
On average, both FOM and SM OW children showed decreases in mean % BMI over 6 months. However, significantly fewer FOM children gained % BMI compared to SM children (32.6% vs 47.2%, P=0.044). Thus, participation in the FOM program was significantly more effective in reducing the number of OW children who gained weight in excess of that attributable to normal growth.
Families on the Move!, a family-based weight-gain prevention program that includes small lifestyle changes consisting of increased physical activity and reduced caloric intake with emphasis on replacing dietary sugars with SPLENDA® No Calorie Sweetener, holds promise as an easily usable tool for preventing excessive weight gain in OW children.
Funded by McNeil Nutritionals, LLC and NIH grant DK42549.
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