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Updated: February 2, 2010 21:22 IST

MEND program effective in child obesity prevention

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A file photo of a 7-year-old boy, weighing 60 kilograms, performing rope skipping during a party for fat persons.
A file photo of a 7-year-old boy, weighing 60 kilograms, performing rope skipping during a party for fat persons.

A new British study has found that the MEND Program (Mind, Exercise, Nutrition, Do it!) is quite effective in prevention and treatment of child obesity.

The study carried out by researchers at University College London Institute of Child Health (ICH) shows the success of the weight management program MEND for overweight and obese children and their families. Researchers analysed 116 children aged between 8 and 12 years, who took part in a nine week MEND program, followed by the provision of 12 weeks of free family swimming between January 2005 and January 2007. It was seen that all children lost weight, lowered their BMI (Body Mass Index) and waist circumference, which gave a boost to their self-esteem and physical activity. Their general health, including cardiovascular fitness, also improved.

“The MEND Program isn’t a miracle pill for obesity, but what this independent study does show is that child weight management programs that involve the whole family, like the MEND Program, are a scientifically-proven and sustainable solution to the child obesity crisis. People are starting to wake up to the fact that quick fixes don’t work. These research findings prove that teaching children how to keep fit and eat healthily, like we do on the MEND Program, does work if done in the right way. With more funding, MEND could significantly reduce the number of overweight and obese children,” Harry MacMillan, Chief Executive of MEND, said.

Professor Atul Singhal, paediatrician and head of clinical trials in the Childhood Nutrition Research Centre at University College London Institute of Child Health (ICH), said, “These results suggest that the MEND program helps overweight and obese children lose weight. They also show that child weight management programs have a positive effect on a child’s health and so could help to address the rising obesity problem in children.”

The study has appeared in the February 2010 Issue of Obesity, official journal of the Obesity Society.

Keywords: MEND programICHobesityhealth


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