The C.A.M. Report
Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Fair, Balanced, and to the Point
  • About this web log

    This blog ran from 2006 to 2016 and was intended as an objective and dispassionate source of information on the latest CAM research. Since my background is in pharmacy and allopathic medicine, I view all CAM as advancing through the development pipeline to eventually become integrated into mainstream medical practice. Some will succeed while others fail. But all are treated fairly here.

  • About the author

    John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.

  • Common sense considerations

    The material on this weblog is for informational purposes. It is not medical advice or counsel. Be smart, consult your health professional before using CAM.

  • Recent Posts

  • Recent Comments

    Educating families to keep their kids fit

    Researchers at the University of Florida in Gainesville report that obese children lose weight when their parents receive training on nutrition, exercise, and behavior management.

    It also helps when the kids participate.
    First, the details.

    • 93 overweight or obese children and their parent(s) participated.
    • Families were randomly assigned to treatments.
      • Family-based education: Instruction on healthy diet choices, and pedometers provided to children with instructions to use them.
      • Parent-only education: Training on nutrition, exercise, and behavior management.
      • A wait-list control group.
    • Changes in body mass index (BMI) were measured over then next 10 months.

    And, the results.
    Month 4 assessment

    • Children in the parent-only education group had a significantly greater decrease in BMI vs children in the control group.
    • There was no difference between family-based education and the control group.
    • There was no difference between the parent-only and family-based group.

    At month 10

    • Children in the parent-only and family-based groups had significantly greater decreases in BMI compared to before education vs the control group.
    • There was no difference between the parent-only and family-based group.

    The bottom line?
    The authors concluded, “A parent-only intervention may be a viable and effective alternative to family-based treatment of childhood overweight.”

    The program was cost-effective, and lead researcher, Dr. David Janicke said, “When working with children it’s important to introduce lifestyle changes slowly and make it fun, otherwise they may become resistant. Making big changes in their diets could lead to unhealthy habits like skipping meals, eating disorders or weight gain.”

    My bias is for family-based education. Why should the training and education fall to the parents only? I also like that the kids were given pedometers as a quantitative tool to gauge their activity.

    More reports on the value of a pedometer in weight reduction programs are summarized here.

    12/21/08 11:15 JR

    Leave a Comment

    You must be logged in to post a comment.