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Assessment of body composition changes during a combined intervention for the treatment of childhood obesity

Durá-Travé, Teodoro, Gallinas-Victoriano, Fidel, Urretavizcaya-Martinez, María, Ahmed-Mohamed, Lotfi, Guindulain, María Jesús Chueca, Berrade-Zubiri, Sara
Nutrition 2019 v.59 pp. 116-120
body mass index, childhood obesity, fat mass index, lean body mass, nutritional status, patients, skinfold thickness, waist circumference, waist-to-height ratio
One of the main objectives in the treatment of childhood obesity is to reduce the percentage of body fat mass without negatively affecting fat-free mass (FFM) and, consequently, longitudinal growth. The aim of this study was to analyze the changes that take place in body compartments in a group of patients with obesity under combined treatment.This was a longitudinal study with 109 children with obesity 9.1 to 13.9 y of age included in a combined dietary–behavioral–physical activity intervention. Weight, height, skinfold thickness, and waist circumference were registered, and body mass index (BMI), fat mass index (FMI), FFM and waist-to-height ratio (WHR) were calculated over a period of 12 mo. The BMI z-score allowed us to establish two groups: obesity (n = 50) and severe obesity (n = 59). A nutritional improvement was considered when a decrease of BMI z-score of the initial value occurred after 12 mo of follow-up.The improvement in nutritional status reached 61.5% (n = 67). In the obesity group with nutritional improvement (n = 32), FMI significantly decreased (P < 0.005) and there were no significant differences in weight, height z-score, FFM, and WHR throughout the combined intervention. In the severe obesity group with nutritional improvement (n = 35), there were no significant differences in weight, height z-score, FMI, FFM, and WHR throughout combined intervention.Maintaining a constant weight in the mid- to long term to improve nutritional status would be adequate in children with infantile–juvenile obesity. However, maintaining a steady weight would not be sufficient for those patients diagnosed with severe obesity.