World Journal of Pediatrics

, Volume 8, Issue 1, pp 31–37

Impact of childhood obesity treatment on body composition and metabolic profile

  • Marja Kalavainen
  • Pauliina Utriainen
  • Esko Vanninen
  • Matti Korppi
  • Outi Nuutinen
Original Article

DOI: 10.1007/s12519-011-0324-2

Cite this article as:
Kalavainen, M., Utriainen, P., Vanninen, E. et al. World J Pediatr (2012) 8: 31. doi:10.1007/s12519-011-0324-2



Childhood obesity is associated with adverse changes in cardiometabolic risk factors. A family-oriented group program stressing a health-promoting lifestyle has been more effective than routine counselling in the treatment of obesity in school children. The aim of the present study was to compare the impact of group program and routine councelling on body composition and metabolic profile, and to evaluate the associations of changes in adiposity with levels of cardiometabolic risk factors.


Seventy obese prepubertal children were randomized into family-oriented group program (15 sessions for parents and children) and routine counselling (2 appointments for children). Body mass index (BMI), body composition and different metabolic risk factors were assessed before and after the 6-month intervention.


Waist/height decreased more in the children attending the group treatment, but there were no significant differences between treatment arms in the changes of metabolic risk factors. When the arms were analyzed as combined, serum triglycerides decreased significantly if BMI standard deviation score (BMI-SDS) decreased ≥0.5. Serum fasting insulin decreased if BMISDS decreased ≥0.25.


Obesity-related metabolic risk factors reduced in prepubertal children if BMI-SDS decreased substantially. This result was not dependent on which intervention, family-oriented group program or routine counselling, was used.

Key words

body compositionchildhood obesitymetabolism

Copyright information

© Children's Hospital, Zhejiang University School of Medicine and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marja Kalavainen
    • 1
  • Pauliina Utriainen
    • 2
  • Esko Vanninen
    • 3
  • Matti Korppi
    • 4
    • 6
  • Outi Nuutinen
    • 5
  1. 1.Departments of Pediatrics and Clinical NutritionKuopio University HospitalKuopioFinland
  2. 2.Department of PediatricsKuopio University Hospital and University of Eastern FinlandKuopioFinland
  3. 3.Department of Clinical Physiology and Nuclear MedicineKuopio University Hospital and University of Eastern FinlandKuopioFinland
  4. 4.Pediatric Research CenterTampere University and University HospitalTampereFinland
  5. 5.Institute of Public Health and Clinical Nutrition, Department of Clinical NutritionUniversity of Eastern FinlandKuopioFinland
  6. 6.Pediatric Research Center, Tampere University and University HospitalTampere UniversityTampereFinland