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Revista médica de Chile

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SALAS A, M. ISABEL; GATTAS Z, VIVIEN; CEBALLOS S, XIMENA  and  BURROWS A, RAQUEL. Effects of psychological support as an adjunct to a weight reducing program among obese children. Rev. méd. Chile [online]. 2010, vol.138, n.10, pp.1217-1225. ISSN 0034-9887.

Background: Disrupted eating behaviors and psychological issues can have a role in the development of childhood obesity. Aim: To assess the effects of psychological support as an adjunct to the treatment of obesity among children. Material and Methods: Retrospective analysis of a group of 152 obese children aged 3 to 16 years, who received medical, Nutritional and physical training treatment. Seventy three (Group I) were invited to participate in a protocol of psychological support and 79 formed the control group (Group 2). Body mass index, body fat mass, waist circumference, insulin sensitivity, lipid profile, eating and physical activity habits were evaluated. Family structure, history of food rejection, psychological, physical and social development, and adherence to the program were also analyzed. To analyze responses to treatment, Group I was further divided into those who attended the psychology sections (intervened group) and those who did not attend (non intervened group). Results: At baseline, there were no differences in anthropometric, metabolic, familial and psychological profile among Groups I and 2. Family structure, eating behaviors and physical and social development were normal. Those associated with lack of control appeared as negative characteristics. There was a significant improvement in eating habits and physical activity among intervened children of Group 1 and Group 2. No significant change in weight was recorded in all three groups. Compliance with the program was significantly better among intervened children in Group 1 (62.1% at sixth months), compared with non intervened children of Group 1 (15.9%) and Group 2 (30.3%). Conclusions: Obese children who attended psychological support therapy as an adjunct to a weight reducing program, had a better compliance with treatment but did not achieve a higher weight loss.

Keywords : Childhood; Obesity; Psychological techniques.

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