The C.A.M. Report
Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Fair, Balanced, and to the Point
  • About this web log

    This blog is intended as an objective and dispassionate source of information on the latest CAM research. Since my background is in pharmacy and allopathic medicine, I view all CAM as advancing through the development pipeline to eventually become integrated into mainstream medical practice. Some will succeed while others fail. But all are treated fairly here.

  • About the author

    John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.

  • Common sense considerations

    The material on this weblog is for informational purposes. It is not medical advice or counsel. Be smart, consult your health professional before using CAM.

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    Family therapy to treat childhood obesity

    obese_children_americaShort- and long-term benefits were reported by researchers at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, in Pennsylvania.

    First, the details.

    • 192 children (average BMI percentile for age and gender of 99) and their families were assigned randomly to treatment.
      • Special intervention
      • Usual care
    • Special intervention included of 20 1-hour group meetings from month 0 to 6.
      • Adult and child groups met separately and were given complementary material.
      • After being weighed the adult and child met with a lifestyle coach to review records and set weekly goals.
      • 6 booster sessions were provided between month 6 and 12, but no contact between the 12- and 18-month assessments.

    And, the results.

    • Children in the intervention group had significant decreases in their percentage of overweight (-8%), relative to usual care (-1%), at 6 months.
    • No differences at 12 or 18 months.
    • Children in the intervention group who attended at least 75% of sessions maintained their improvement over 18 months.
    • Lower percent overweight at the start of the study, better attendance, higher income, and greater parent BMI reduction were associated with significantly greater improvement at 6 months among those in the intervention group.

    The bottom line?
    The authors concluded the intervention program showed benefit at 6 months. Children who attended at least 75% of the sessions had longer-term benefits in weight reduction.

    Maintenance of weight losses among severely obese children may be difficult. “There is a compelling need to develop chronic care models for this high-risk population,” concluded the authors.

    10/14/09 22:05 JR

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