Introduction: The Go4Fun program in New South Wales, Australia is a community based weight management program for overweight and obese children aged 7-13 years and their families. This study assessed the impact of the number and type of sessions attended on body mass index (BMI) z-score, fruit and vegetable intake and physical activity and sedentary behaviours to determine the number of sessions required to achieve optimal program outcomes. Methods: Secondary analysis was conducted on pre and post participant program data collected over 3.5 years. Relationships between session attendance and program outcomes were assessed using Spearman's correlation and multivariate analyses of variance and multivariate regression. Number of sessions required to achieve optimal program outcomes was determined using piecewise linear regression. Results: For 3090 participants (48.5% of registrants) who attended at least five sessions, outcome measures improved significantly at post program compared with pre (p < 0.01). No relationships were seen between number and type of sessions attended and outcome measures. Children of mothers without a post-school qualification (university degree or vocational qualification) were more likely to achieve lower levels of improvements in BMI z-score (p = 0.02) and vegetable intake (P < 0.01) than those children with post-school qualified mothers (F = 3.68, p = 0.03). Children of mothers without post-school education that attended seven sessions or more achieved significantly better BMI z-score outcomes (p < 0.01) than those who attended fewer sessions. Conclusions: Maternal educational attainment influences program attendance and health and behavioural outcomes in a family based obesity treatment program.
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- weight management
- obese children
- body mass index