Efficacy of HIKCUPS (Hunter Illawarra Kids Challenge Using Parent Support) in reducing BMI z-score at 1 year: Results of a multi-site randomized trial for overweight 5-9 year olds.
The evidence base for treating obesity in children is weak and fraught with poorly designed studies with limited follow-up. To address these limitations we undertook HIKCUPS, a high quality 6-month multi-site RCT with three treatment arms and planned 2-year follow-up. The RCT compared a parent-centered family lifestyle and diet modification program to a child-centered physical activity skill development program, to doing both. All interventions were performed in a community setting and were designed to be inexpensive and sustainable. We have completed 1-year follow-up of 165 overweight 5-9 yr olds in two Australian regional cities. The 1-year retention rate was 64%. There were no significant differences in BMI z-score between those who completed or dropped out at either 6 or 12 mo. Using linear mixed model analyses, there were significant improvements in one of the two primary outcomes (BMI z-score), and two secondary outcomes (LDL/HDL cholesterol, energy intake) across all groups from baseline to 12 mo.