The effect of peanut and peanut butter snacking on weight loss in children
Childhood obesity and overweight has increased significantly, with Mexican Americans having the highest rates. An increase in caloric consumption, and specifically unhealthy snacking, has contributed to childhood obesity. Therefore interventions with a healthy snacking component may prove beneficial. This study evaluated 6-month outcomes of a snacking component with peanuts/peanut butter of the treatment group within a weight-loss intervention study. Groups within the treatment group were divided into either high or low-snacking adherence to peanuts and peanut butter. A total of 257 children between the ages of 12–14 >85th percentile for BMI were recruited. Participants that enrolled in the intervention were randomized to an instructor led or self-help program. For this study, only the snacking component of the instructor led treatment group was examined. Changes in participants' standardized body mass index (zBMI), body mass index (BMI), triceps skin fold, and weight were assessed at baseline and 6 months. Participants in the high peanut adherence treatment group showed significantly greater decreases in zBMI and BMI at 6 months compared to the low snacking adherence group. Although triceps skin fold, weight, and percent body fat did not significantly decrease, they trended towards significance.