Evaluation of the SHAPEDOWN weight loss program conducted through a hospital in north central Indiana : a family approach

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Harter, Mary R.
Friesen, Carol A.
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Thesis (M.A.)
Department of Family and Consumer Sciences
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The purpose of this study was to determine if participation in the ten-week SHAPEDOWN program was associated with a reduction in body mass index and improved measures of physical fitness among obese children and their parent-participants and to determine if a parent’s success in the program was correlated with his or her child’s success. Subjects included 47 obese children aged 8-18 years and their parent-participants who completed the program during 2009-2011. Results obtained during the first session (e.g., height, weight, BMI, and endurance, stretch, and flexibility tests) were compared to post-test results in a paired analysis. Results indicated participation was associated with a decrease in BMI (p<0.01) and heart rate (p<0.01) and an increase in flexibility (p<0.01) and the number of sit ups completed in one minute (p<0.01) among the children and an increased number of sit ups (p<0.01) and flexibility (p<0.01) among the parents. No reduction in body weight was observed among the children (p=0.33) or their parent-participants (p=0.16) over the ten weeks. A positive correlation was observed between the parent-child for both weight loss (p<0.01) and flexibility (p<0.01). These results indicate SHAPEDOWN positively impacted indices of health and that parental participation positively impacted a child’s weight loss and flexibility. Parents should be encouraged to engage in healthy behaviors with their overweight child.