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.

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    Family therapy to treat childhood obesity

    obese_children_americaShort- and long-term benefits were reported by researchers at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, in Pennsylvania.

    First, the details.

    • 192 children (average BMI percentile for age and gender of 99) and their families were assigned randomly to treatment.
      • Special intervention
      • Usual care
    • Special intervention included of 20 1-hour group meetings from month 0 to 6.
      • Adult and child groups met separately and were given complementary material.
      • After being weighed the adult and child met with a lifestyle coach to review records and set weekly goals.
      • 6 booster sessions were provided between month 6 and 12, but no contact between the 12- and 18-month assessments.

    And, the results.

    • Children in the intervention group had significant decreases in their percentage of overweight (-8%), relative to usual care (-1%), at 6 months.
    • No differences at 12 or 18 months.
    • Children in the intervention group who attended at least 75% of sessions maintained their improvement over 18 months.
    • Lower percent overweight at the start of the study, better attendance, higher income, and greater parent BMI reduction were associated with significantly greater improvement at 6 months among those in the intervention group.

    The bottom line?
    The authors concluded the intervention program showed benefit at 6 months. Children who attended at least 75% of the sessions had longer-term benefits in weight reduction.

    Maintenance of weight losses among severely obese children may be difficult. “There is a compelling need to develop chronic care models for this high-risk population,” concluded the authors.

    10/14/09 22:05 JR

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