Promoting Healthier Futures: A Six-Month Program for Childhood Obesity Reduction and Lifestyle Enhancement

Family based intervention program to reduce obesity and over weight


  • Sabah Mohammed Department of Community Medicine, Hawler Medical University, College of Medicine, Erbil, Iraq; Sulaimani Polytechnic University, Darbandkhan Technical Institute, Nursing Department, Sulaimani, Iraq.
  • Abdulahad Departmrnt of Community Medicine, Hawler Medical University, College of Medicine, Erbil, Iraq



BMI, Obesity, Overweight, Children, Intervention


Objective: This study aimed to evaluate the impact of a six-month family-based intervention and follow-up intervention on the body mass index and children's lifestyle in Erbil City among 5 to 19 years old. The intervention specifically targeted parents to the educational program and intended to reduce the Body Mass Index of children and change sedentary behavior. On the other hand, the educational program included minimizing the consumption of high-fat and carbohydrate-containing, increasing the consumption of fruits and vegetables, and soft drinks. In addition, it assessed exposure to multi-screen devices and evaluated sleep quality.

Methods: Weight, height, waist circumference, and hip circumference were measured by portable stadiometer and weight-calibrated electronic scales and BMI was calculated at the baseline and after six months of intervention. The research employed various methodologies and conducted a family-based educational program through a printed booklet. The questionnaire was used at baseline and after six months of intervention, and IBM SPSS Statistics version 25 was used for data analysis, paired sample t-test and MacNemar Chi-square were used.

Results: The BMI was reduced after six months of intervention. The mean difference was 0.435, however, there were no more differences for hip and waist circumference, on the other hand, the sedentary behaviour lifestyle was changed from poor daily lifestyle practice to good practice.

Conclusion: The results of this research suggest that the implementation of a complete intervention produces favourable outcomes in terms of lifestyle modifications and a decrease in BMI among children who are obese or overweight. Although, daily practice was notable changed from poor daily practice to good practice.


Crespo NC, Elder JP, Ayala GX, Slymen DJ, Campbell NR, Sallis JF, et al. Results of a multi-level intervention to prevent and control childhood obesity among latino children: the aventuras para niños study. Ann Behav Med. 2012;43(1):84–100.

Lobstein T, Baur L, Uauy R. Obesity in children and young people: A crisis in public health. Obes Rev Suppl. 2004;5(1):4–104.

Wen LM, Baur LA, Rissel C, Wardle K, Alperstein G, Simpson JM. Early intervention of multiple home visits to prevent childhood obesity in a disadvantaged population: A home-based randomised controlled trial (Healthy Beginnings Trial). BMC Public Health. 2007;7:1–8.

Flattum C, Draxten M, Horning M, Fulkerson JA, Neumark-Sztainer D, Garwick A, et al. HOME Plus: Program design and implementation of a family-focused, community-based intervention to promote the frequency and healthfulness of family meals, reduce children’s sedentary behavior, and prevent obesity. Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act [Internet]. 2015;12(1):1–9.

Liu S, Marques IG, Perdew MA, Strange K, Hartrick T, Weismiller J, et al. Family-based, healthy living intervention for children with overweight and obesity and their families: a ’real world’ trial protocol using a randomised wait list control design. BMJ Open. 2019;9(10):1–9.

Watson PM, Dugdill L, Pickering K, Owen S, Hargreaves J, Staniford LJ, et al. Service evaluation of the GOALS family-based childhood obesity treatment intervention during the first 3 years of implementation. BMJ Open. 2015;5(2):1–14.

Folkvord F, Naderer B, Coates A, Boyland E. Promoting fruit and vegetable consumption for childhood obesity prevention. Nutrients. 2022;14(1):1–13.

Bestle SMS, Christensen BJ, Trolle E, Biltoft-Jensen AP, Matthiessen J, Gibbons SJ, et al. Reducing young schoolchildren’s intake of sugar-rich food and drinks: Study protocol and intervention design for “are you too sweet?” a multicomponent 3.5-month cluster randomised family-based intervention study. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2020;17(24):1–20.

Wouters S, Thewissen V, Duif M, Van Bree RJH, Lechner L, Jacobs N. Habit strength and between-meal snacking in daily life: The moderating role of level of education. Public Health Nutr. 2018;21(14):2595–605.

Hoeeg D, Christensen U, Lundby-Christensen L, Grabowski D. Contextual complexities in implementing a family-based childhood obesity intervention: The perspectives of enrolled children and their parents. Children. 2020;7(12):267.

Christie D, Hudson LD, Kinra S, Wong ICK, Nazareth I, Cole TJ, et al. A community-based motivational personalised lifestyle intervention to reduce BMI in obese adolescents: Results from the Healthy Eating and Lifestyle Programme (HELP) randomised controlled trial. Arch Dis Child. 2017;102(8):695–701.

Khumros W, Vorayingyong A, Suppapitiporn S, Rattananupong T, Lohsoonthorn V. Effectiveness of modified health belief model-based intervention to reduce body mass index for age in overweight junior high school students in Thailand. J Heal Res. 2019;33(2):162–72.

Ranganathan P, Aggarwal R. Study designs: Part 5 - Interventional studies (III). Perspect Clin Res. 2020;11(1):47–50.

Goodyear RK (Rosemary K, Fabian A, Hay J (Jane), New Zealand. Statistics New Zealand. Finding the crowding index that works best for New Zealand: applying different crowding indexes to census of population and dwellings data for 1986–2006. 2012. 59 p.

Omer W, Al-Hadithi T. Developing a socioeconomic index for health research in Iraq. East Mediterr Heal J. 2017;23(10):670–7.

Okour, A.M., Saadeh, R.A., Hijazi, M.H., Al Khalaileh, H.E., & Alfaqih, M.A. (2019). Socioeconomic status, perceptions and obesity among adolescents in Jordan. Pan African Medical Journal, 34(1), 148.

Demment, M.M., Haas, J.D., & Olson, C.M. (2014). Changes in family income status and the development of overweight and obesity from 2 to 15 years: a longitudinal study. BMC Public Health, 14(1), 417.

Ayala-Marín, A.M., Iguacel, I., Miguel-Etayo, P.D., & Moreno, L.A. (2020). Consideration of social disadvantages for understanding and preventing obesity in children. Frontiers in Public Health, 8, 423.

Plachta-Danielzik S, Landsberg B, Lange D, Seiberl J, Müller MJ. Eight-year follow-up of school-based intervention on childhood overweight - The Kiel obesity prevention study. Obes Facts. 2011;4(1):35–43.

Bacardí-Gascon M, Pérez-Morales ME, Jiménez-Cruz A. Intervención aleatorizada de seis meses en las escuelas, con un seguimiento de 18 meses para la prevención de obesidad infantil en escuelas primarias de México. Nutr Hosp. 2012;27(3):755–62.

Bere E, Veierød MB, Bjelland M, Klepp KI. Free school fruit - Sustained effect 1 year later. Health Educ Res. 2006;21(2):268–75.

Anggraeni AS, Sukartini T, Kristiawati K. Consumption of Fruit and Vegetable with Risk of Obesity in School-Age Children. J Ners. 2017;12(1):27–32.

Danner FW. A national longitudinal study of the association between hours of TV viewing and the trajectory of BMI growth among US children. J Pediatr Psychol. 2008;33(10):1100–7.

Apisitwasana N, Perngparn U, Cottler LB. Effectiveness of school- and family-based interventions to prevent gaming addiction among grades 4-5 students in Bangkok, Thailand. Psychol Res Behav Manag. 2018;11:103–15.

Anam MR, Akter S, Hossain F, Bonny SQ, Akter J, Zhang C, et al. Association of sleep duration and sleep quality with overweight/obesity among adolescents of Bangladesh: a multilevel analysis. BMC Public Health [Internet]. 2022;22(1):1–9. Available from:

Venkatapoorna CMK, Ayine P, Selvaraju V, Parra EP, Koenigs T, Babu JR, et al. The relationship between obesity and sleep timing behavior, television exposure, and dinnertime among elementary school-age children. J Clin Sleep Med. 2020;16(1):129–36.

Chen H, Wang LJ, Xin F, Liang G, Chen Y. Associations between sleep duration, sleep quality, and weight status in Chinese children and adolescents. BMC Public Health [Internet]. 2022;22(1):1136. Available from:

Danial B, Faresjö T, Fredriksson M, Ludvigsson J. Childhood sleep and obesity risk: A prospective cohort study of 10 000 Swedish children. Pediatr Obes.2023;18(2):1–8.

Kanellopoulou A, Notara V, Magriplis E, Antonogeorgos G, Rojas-Gil AP, Kornilaki EN, et al. Sleeping patterns and childhood obesity: An epidemiological study in 1,728 children in Greece. J Clin Sleep Med.2021;17(5):1093–101.




How to Cite

Mohammed, S., & Abdulahad Shabu, S. (2024). Promoting Healthier Futures: A Six-Month Program for Childhood Obesity Reduction and Lifestyle Enhancement: Family based intervention program to reduce obesity and over weight. Journal of Contemporary Medical Sciences, 10(1).