Background/Aims: Parenting, Eating and Activity for Child Health (PEACH™) Queensland is a 6-month family-focussed child weight management program currently targeting 1400 Queensland children. This study aims to investigate changes in child BMI and eating behaviours during the pilot phase.
Methods: From 2013 – 2014, 251 overweight children (US-CDC BMI percentile ≥85) were enrolled in the pilot phase of PEACH™ Queensland, using pre-defined inclusion criteria which included having a child above a healthy weight for their age (5 – 11 years). Baseline and follow-up data were collected from parents by questionnaire and included child eating behaviours (measured by core food intake and Children’s Dietary Questionnaire (CDQ)). Children attending sessions were weighed and measured by a trained facilitator.
Results: Children attending sessions were 80% obese (IOTF cut-points), 60% female, with average age of 9.0 (±1.9) years. For the subset of children with complete anthropometry (n = 69), we observed significant decreases in US-CDC z-scores for weight and BMI, 2.3 (±0.7) to 2.2 (±0.7) (P <0.001) and 2.2 (±0.5) to 2.1 (±0.7) (P <0.0001), respectively. This reduction in BMI z-score was accompanied by increases in the proportion meeting recommendations for serves of fruit and vegetables, and significantly lower scores for sweetened beverages and discretionary food intake as measured by CDQ.
Conclusion: The PEACH™ Queensland pilot reduced child weight and BMI z-scores, and improved eating behaviours (increased fruit and vegetable intake, decreased intake of discretionary foods and sweetened beverages) although there is need for further improvement.
Funding Source: PEACH™ Queensland funding: the Queensland Government.