CONTEXT: Few randomized controlled trials (RCTs) of interventions for the treatment of childhood obesity have taken place outside the Western world.
AIM: To test whether a good practice intervention for the treatment of childhood obesity would have a greater impact on weight status and other outcomes than a control condition in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
METHODS: Assessor-blinded RCT of a treatment intervention in 107 obese 7- to 11-year olds. The intervention was relatively low intensity (8 hours contact over 26 weeks, group based), aiming to change child sedentary behavior, physical activity, and diet using behavior change counselling. Outcomes were measured at baseline and six months after the start of the intervention. Primary outcome was BMI z-score, other outcomes were weight change, health-related quality of life (Peds QL), objectively measured physical activity and sedentary behavior (Actigraph accelerometry over 5 days).
RESULTS: The intervention had no significant effect on BMI z score relative to control. Weight gain was reduced significantly in the intervention group compared to the control group (+1.5 kg vs. +3.5 kg, respectively, t-test p < 0.01). Changes in health-related quality of life and objectively measured physical activity and sedentary behavior favored the intervention group.
CONCLUSIONS: Treatment was associated with reduced rate of weight gain, and improvements in physical activity and quality of life. More substantial benefits may require longer term and more intensive interventions which aim for more substantive lifestyle changes.
BACKGROUND: The prevalence of obesity is increasing rapidly and abdominal obesity especially is known to be a risk factor for metabolic syndrome and other non-communicable diseases. Waist circumference percentile curves are useful tools which can help to identify abdominal obesity among the childhood and adolescent populations.
OBJECTIVE: To develop age- and sex-specific waist circumference (WC) percentile curves for multi-ethnic Malaysian children and adolescents aged 6.0-16.9 years. Subjects and methods. A total of 16,203 participants comprising 8,093 boys and 8,110 girls recruited from all regions of Malaysia were involved in this study. Height, weight, WC were measured and BMI calculated. Smoothed WC percentile curves and values for the 3rd, 5th, 10th, 25th, 50th, 75th, 90th, 95th and 97th percentiles were constructed using the LMS Method.
RESULTS: WC was found to increase with age in both sexes, but boys had higher WC values at every age and percentile. Z-scores generated using the UK reference data shows that Chinese children had the highest WC compared to Malays, Indians and other ethnicities. Comparisons with other studies indicate that at the 50th percentile, Malaysian curves did not differ from the UK, Hong Kong and Turkish curves, but at the 90th percentile, Malaysian curves were higher compared with other countries, starting at 10 years of age. The 90th percentile was adopted as the cut-off point to indicate abdominal obesity in Malaysian children and adolescents.
CONCLUSION: These curves represent the first WC percentiles reported for Malaysian children, and they can serve as a reference for future studies.
BACKGROUND:Quality of life (QoL) is impaired in childhood obesity, but the literature on this is all from Western countries. Aim. To test for impairment of QoL in obese children in Malaysia, using parent-reported and child-reported QoL.
METHODS:Health-related Quality of Life was measured using the Paediatric Quality of Life Inventory version 4.0. Comparison of QoL between a community sample of 90 obese children (as defined by US CDC and Cole-IOTF definitions), median age 9.5 y (interquartile range [IQR] 8.6, 10.5 y) and 90 control children of healthy weight (BMI less than the 85th centile of US reference data), median age 10.0 y (IQR 9.6, 10.5 y). Children were matched pair-wise for age, gender, and ethnic group, and controls were recruited from schools in the same area as obese participants.
RESULTS:For child self-report, the healthy weight group had significantly higher QoL for the physical (median 82.9, IQR 65.7, 90.6), and psychosocial domains (median, 73.3, IQR 64.4, 83.3), and total QoL (median 76.1, IQR 64.1, 84.8) compared to the obese group (median 67.2, IQR 59.4, 81.3; median 62.5, IQR 53.3, 75.4; median 60.9, IQR 50.8, 73.9; all p < 0.001). There were no significant differences between the obese and healthy weight group for parent-reported physical health, psychosocial health, or total QoL.
CONCLUSION:Obese children in Malaysia have markedly poorer QoL than their peers, but this is not evident when parent reports of QoL are used.
Study name: Malaysian Childhood Obesity Treatment Trial (MASCOT)
Study site: Two primary schools, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia