A Review of Primary Care-Based Childhood Obesity Prevention and Treatment Interventions

Elisabeth M. Seburg, Barbara A. Olson-Bullis, Dani M. Bredeson, Marcia G. Hayes, Nancy E Sherwood

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

72 Scopus citations


Effective obesity prevention and treatment interventions targeting children and their families are needed to help curb the obesity epidemic. Pediatric primary care is a promising setting for these interventions, and a growing number of studies are set in this context. This review aims to identify randomized controlled trials of pediatric primary care-based obesity interventions. A literature search of 3 databases retrieved 2947 publications, of which 2899 publications were excluded after abstract (n=2722) and full-text review (n=177). Forty-eight publications, representing 31 studies, were included in the review. Eight studies demonstrated a significant intervention effect on child weight outcomes (e.g., BMI z-score, weight-for-length percentile). Effective interventions were mainly treatment interventions, and tended to focus on multiple behaviors, contain weight management components, and include monitoring of weight-related behaviors (e.g., dietary intake, physical activity, or sedentary behaviors). Overall, results demonstrate modest support for the efficacy of obesity treatment interventions set in primary care.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)157-173
Number of pages17
JournalCurrent Obesity Reports
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1 2015

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The project was supported by Grant Numbers 1R01DK084475 (PI: Sherwood), P30DK050456 (PI: Levine), and P30DK092924 (PI: Schmittdiel) from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.


  • Childhood obesity
  • Prevention
  • Primary care
  • Treatment


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