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Assessing the acceptability and feasibility of the MEND Programme in a small group of obese 7–11-year-old children

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Abstract Background and aims 

An uncontrolled, pilot study to evaluate feasibility and acceptability of a new community based childhood obesity treatment programme. Methods 

The mind, exercise, nutrition and diet (MEND) programme was held at a sports centre, twice-weekly, for 3 months. The programme consists of behaviour modification, physical activity and nutrition education. The primary outcome measure was waist circumference. Secondary outcomes were body mass index (BMI), cardiovascular fitness (heart rate, blood pressure and number of steps in 2 min), self-esteem and body composition. BMI of parents was also measured. See http://www.mendprogramme.org . Results 

Eleven obese children (7–11 years) and their families were recruited. Mean attendance was 78% (range 63–88%) with one drop out. Waist circumference, cardiovascular fitness and self-esteem were all significantly improved at 3 months and continued to improve at 6 months. BMI was significantly improved at 3 months but lost significance by 6 months. Deuterium studies showed a beneficial trend but were not significant. Of the 17 parents measured, seven were obese (BMI ≥ 30) and eight overweight (BMI ≥ 25). Conclusions 

Although limited by the small number of participants and no control group, the MEND programme was acceptable to families and produced significant improvements in a range of risk factors associated with obesity that persisted over 3 months.
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Keywords: behavioural modification; children; exercise; nutrition; obesity; treatment

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: The MRC Childhood Nutrition Research Centre, Institute of Child Health, London, UK 2: Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, University College London, UK 3: Centre for Paediatric Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Institute of Child Health, London, UK

Publication date: 2005-02-01

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