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The MEND 5-7 programme

04 May 2013

Objective

The aim of this study was to report outcomes of the UK service level delivery of MEND (Mind,Exercise,Nutrition...Do it!) 5-7, a multicomponent, community-based, healthy lifestyle intervention designed for overweight and obese children aged 5–7 years and their families.

Design

Repeated measures.

Setting

Community venues at 37 locations across the UK.

Participants

440 overweight or obese children (42% boys; mean age 6.1 years; body mass index (BMI) z-score 2.86) and their parents/carers participated in the intervention.

Intervention

MEND 5-7 is a 10-week, family-based, child weight-management intervention consisting of weekly group sessions. It includes positive parenting, active play, nutrition education and behaviour change strategies. The intervention is designed to be scalable and delivered by a range of health and social care professionals.

Primary and secondary outcome measures

The primary outcome was BMI z-score. Secondary outcome measures included BMI, waist circumference, waist circumference z-score, children's psychological symptoms, parenting self-efficacy, physical activity and sedentary behaviours and the proportion of parents and children eating five or more portions of fruit and vegetables.

Results

274 (62%) children were measured preintervention and post-intervention (baseline; 10-weeks). Post-intervention, mean BMI and waist circumference decreased by 0.5 kg/m2 and 0.9 cm, while z-scores decreased by 0.20 and 0.20, respectively (p<0.0001). Improvements were found in children's psychological symptoms (–1.6 units, p<0.0001), parent self-efficacy (p<0.0001), physical activity (+2.9 h/week, p<0.01), sedentary activities (–4.1 h/week, p<0.0001) and the proportion of parents and children eating five or more portions of fruit and vegetables per day (both p<0.0001). Attendance at the 10 sessions was 73% with a 70% retention rate.

Conclusions

Participation in the MEND 5-7 programme was associated with beneficial changes in physical, behavioural and psychological outcomes for children with complete sets of measurement data, when implemented in UK community settings under service level conditions. Further investigation is warranted to establish if these findings are replicable under controlled conditions.

Date: 
4 May 2013

Click here to view the full article which appeared in BMJ Open