The purpose of this study, and its original contribution to research, is to determine the impact of a physical activity skill development and parent centered family weight management program on the weight, cardiovascular health, physical activity, dietary intake and sedentary behaviors of overweight and obese children.

Official Title

Effect of a Weight Management Program for Overweight and Obese Children: a Randomized Controlled Trial



Study Type


Study Design

Treatment, Randomized, Open Label, Active Control, Parallel Assignment, Efficacy Study

Further Details

Primary Outcome Measures: To evaluate and compare in overweight children the effectiveness of the following interventions:

  • A parent-centered dietary modification program
  • A physical activity skill development program
  • A parent-centered dietary modification plus physical activity skill development program

We have successfully piloted two community-based conventional weight management programs, SHARK (a physical activity-based program) and PRAISE (a dietary modification program), suitable for use with overweight, pre-adolescent children, and propose that the combination of these two programs into a multi-component intervention has the potential to effectively treat child obesity. We hypothesize that at 6-, 12-, and 24-month follow-ups, compared to overweight children allocated to the physical activity only and dietary modification only groups, overweight children in the physical activity + dietary modification group will display a greater reduction in their adiposity and display improved metabolic profiles. Secondary analyses will determine if the combined intervention improves physical activity, sedentariness, energy intake, movement skills, self-esteem, and an activity of daily living. Interventions: SHARK Physical activity skill development program. The ‘SHARK’ program focuses on increasing the children’s actual competence (or fundamental movement skills), perceived competence, and social support for physical activity. PRAISE parent-centered family weight management program. The PRAISE Program is a non-diet approach to healthy eating that aims to decrease overly restrictive eating and encourage eating in response to ‘true hunger’.

Study Start

March 2005; Study completion: October 2007

Eligibility & Criteria

  • Ages Eligible for Study: 66 Months – 9 Years
  • Genders Eligible for Study: Both
  • Accepts Healthy Volunteers

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Overweight and obese children with the Wollongong and Newcastle regions, aged between 5.5 and 9
  • BMI within specified range (above international cut-off points for age and gender)
  • Otherwise healthy children
  • Not on any medications that may influence obesity
  • One parent able to attend all required sessions
  • Pre-pubertal
  • No sibling enrolled

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Children with BMI outside the specified range
  • Children on medication that may influence obesity
  • Children that have conditions that may influence obesity

Total Enrolment


Contact Details

  • Child Obesity Research Centre, University of Wollongong, Wollongong, New South Wales, 2522, Australia
  • University of Newcastle, Newcastle, New South Wales, 2308, Australia