Effectiveness of a parent and child multidisciplinary weight reduction program: Survey of Fit'N Fun program participants
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Studies show that childhood obesity continues to increase and the causes of obesity can be very difficult to address. The purpose of this study was to assess the effectiveness of a parent and child multidisciplinary program designed to provide nutrition education, increase activity, and modify lifestyle and behaviors to reduce overweight in children. A survey instrument was developed to assess dietary patterns, health beliefs, and activity level of children ages 7-12. The survey was administered to 20 parents who had participated in the weight reduction program for at least 6 months. In addition, the survey was given to 31 parents whose children are eligible to participate in the weight reduction program but not participating at the time of the data collection. The results showed that the Fit'N Fun program is effective in reducing the children's rate of change in BMI. Participants showed decreased consumption of sweet drinks and fast food as well as reduced weight gain over time. Additionally, their parents were more willing to make lifestyle changes to improve their children's health and reported increased frequency of healthy behaviors, such as nutrition label reading.