Poster Presentation Australian & New Zealand Obesity Society 2014 Annual Scientific Meeting

Effectiveness of current interventions in obese New Zealand children and adolescents (#152)

Yvonne C Anderson 1 2 , Tami L Cave 1 2 , Vicki J Cunningham 3 , Nicola M Pereira 4 , Donna M Woolerton 5 , Cameron C Grant 6 , Wayne S Cutfield 1 , Jose G B Derraik 1 , Paul L Hofman 1
  1. Liggins Institute, The University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand
  2. Taranaki Base Hospital, New Plymouth, New Zealand
  3. Child Health Centre, Northland District Health Board, Whangarei, New Zealand
  4. Child Health Service, Midcentral District Health Board, Palmerston North, New Zealand
  5. Waikids, Waikato District Health Board, Waikato, New Zealand
  6. Department of Paediatrics, The University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand

Meta-analyses and systematic reviews of multi-disciplinary intervention programmes for child and adolescent obesity have shown they lead to clinically significant improvements in weight and cardio-metabolic outcomes in the short to medium term.1,2  New Zealand Ministry of Health guidelines currently support a multi-disciplinary approach to child and adolescent obesity, but very few of these programmes exist nationally.3

Aim: To determine the effectiveness of current interventions in New Zealand in obese children and adolescents accessing either a standard model of care (medical input alone or with the addition of dietitian and physical activity input), or one of the country’s long-standing multi-disciplinary intervention programmes.  

Methods: Data were collected from 290 patients across four centres in New Zealand who manage obese and overweight children and adolescents aged 3-16 years in Paediatric clinics.  Ethnicity, gender, height, weight and nature of intervention over medical assessments spanning an average of 2.1 years from baseline were collected.  Body Mass Index (BMI), BMI percentile and BMI standard deviation score (SDS) were then calculated. 

Results: There was a small but significant annual reduction in BMI SDS irrespective of the nature of intervention (-0.15 overall).  There was no significant difference in BMI SDS between interventions.  The extent of BMI SDS reduction decreased with increasing age at first outpatient attendance (p=0.0006).  BMI SDS reduction was unaffected by ethnicity or gender.

Conclusions: Mild reductions in BMI SDS are achievable in children being referred to and managed for obesity by a range of models.  It is important that paediatricians are proactive in identifying and addressing obesity with families.  Further research is required to evaluate multi-disciplinary intervention programmes, and how their effectiveness can be increased, given their recognised benefits in improving weight and cardio-metabolic profile.

  1. Oude Luttikhuis H, Baur L, Jansen H, Shrewsbury VA, O'Malley C, Stolk, et al. Interventions for treating obesity in children. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. 2009;4.
  2. Ho M, Garnett SP, Baur L, Burrows T, Stewart L, Neve M, et al. Effectiveness of lifestyle interventions in child obesity: Systematic review with meta-analysis. Pediatrics. 2012 Dec;130(6):e1647-71.
  3. Ministry of Health, Clinical Trials Research Unit. Clinical guidelines for weight management in New Zealand children and young people. Wellington: Ministry of Health; 2009.