Long-term outcomes following the MEND 7-13 child weight management program.


Background: In the current study, we report outcomes 2.4 years from baseline in a random subsample of overweight and obese children who attended MEND 7-13 programs delivered in UK community settings under service level conditions. Methods: The study employed an uncontrolled pre-follow-up design. A total of 165 children were measured. Outcomes included anthropometry, parental perception of emotional distress, body esteem, and self-esteem. Results: Overall, there were significant improvements in all outcomes apart from BMI z-score. In boys, BMI z-score, waist circumference z-score, and psychometrics all improved. In girls, there were no statistically significant differences at 2.4 years, except for body esteem. Conclusions: In real-world settings, the MEND intervention, when delivered by nonspecialists, may result in modest, yet positive, long-term outcomes. Subsequent research should focus on improving the outcome effect size, providing effective behavior change maintenance strategies, and further investigating the reasons behind the observed gender differences.