Family-based behavioral treatment improves weight-related outcomes in children with severe obesity

Children's Health

The FABO study showed that delivered at an obesity outpatient clinic, family-based behavioral treatment improved weight-related outcomes significantly more than treatment as usual among children aged 6-18 years with severe obesity. The FABO-study was performed at the Outpatient Clinic, Haukeland University Hospital, and represent the first attempt to deliver family-based behavioral treatment within the Norwegian public healthcare system.

In close collaboration with the research group from University of Washington that developed the treatment method, researchers from Bergen Pediatric Obesity Research Group adjusted the treatment previously delivered through research clinics to a routine healthcare setting with promising result regarding weight loss for participating children. – Results show that family-based treatment provides a significantly greater weight reduction than ordinary treatment, says researcher Hanna Flækøy Skjåkødegård at the Department of Clinical Science, UiB.

The purpose of the weight reduction is to reduce the risk of comorbidities, such as diabetes or other metabolic diseases related to obesity. The behavioral treatment involves both school and leisure activities and consists of an intensive treatment program with 17 sessions spread over six months.
The treatment model from the FABO-study will now be incorporated in the eBATTLE Obesity study, a Norwegian multicenter study investigating the effect of family-based behavioral treatment in combination with pharmacological treatment.

Journal reference:

Skjåkødegård, H.F., et al. (2022) Family-based treatment of children with severe obesity in a public healthcare setting: Results from a randomized controlled trial. Clinical Obesity. doi.org/10.1111/cob.12513.

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