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Leading causes of obesity in school-age children are unhealthy eating and less physical activity. This study examined the effectiveness of the Family-based Behavioral Counseling Program on healthy eating behavior, physical activity, and body mass index in school-age children with obesity. Participants were 10-12-year-olds from municipal schools in a southern province of Thailand. Twenty-two participants were recruited into each group: intervention Group I receiving a 7-week family-based behavioral counseling program, intervention Group II receiving a 7-week group-based behavioral counseling program, and the control group receiving only a usual program. Data were collected using the Health Eating Behavior Questionnaire, the Physical Activity Questionnaire, and the Scale for Weight and Height. Repeated Measures ANOVA and ANCOVA were used to analyze data.
The results revealed that after completing the interventions, healthy eating behaviors and physical activity of participants in Group I were significantly higher than those in Group II and the control group. Body mass index of the participants was not significantly different between these three groups but in Group I this decreased over time. The findings indicated that this program can enhance healthy eating behavior and physical activity, and decrease body mass index among children with obesity. This program should be further verified through being studied over a longer period and in different locations in Thailand. It has potential for school nurses to use as a modified health lifestyle leading to weight control among school-aged children with obesity.
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