HYBRID EVENT: You can participate in person at Orlando, Florida, USA or Virtually from your home or work.
WOC 2022

Cailin O Flaherty

Cailin O Flaherty, Speaker at World Obesity conferences
MCPHS University, United States
Title : Exercise versus dietary interventions in childhood obesity


Introduction: Children and adolescent obesity across the globe continues to rise, despite efforts to both prevent and reduce its prevalence (NCD Risk Factor Collaboration. Though implementation of a parks and recreation program, children of diverse ethnical backgrounds effectively lowered their body mass indices (BMIs) over a three-month period. Areas with dense playgrounds and parks were linked to higher levels of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity. Increased intake of fruits, vegetables, and whole meal cereals along with reduced intake of animal products, were related to both a lower risk of overweight and obesity and risk of gaining weight two years post-intervention. A three-month study that combined the effects of regular exercise and a Mediterranean diet demonstrated success in reduced BMIs in children and adolescents.

Research Problem: Childhood obesity is an epidemic. Overweight and obese children are at high-risk for developing type 2 diabetes and heart disease in adulthood. Preexisting social inequalities lead to poor access to both healthcare and education about exercise and nutritional requirements to maintain a healthy weight and lifestyle.

Research Purpose: To develop of a theory- and evidence-based dietary intervention to alter the nutritional habits and attitudes regarding food for obese children and adolescents and their families. Analyzing the results of a lifestyle intervention on nutrient adequacy and quality of diet in obese children, as measured by Diet Quality Index for Adolescents (DQI-A), Healthy Lifestyle Diet-Index (HDL-I) and Mediterranean Diet Quality Index (KIDMED).

Aim to improve the lifestyles of overweight and obese children by targeting and correcting poor dietary and exercise habits and evaluating the outcomes of interventions, such as cardiometabolic, behavioral, and psychological health, put into place to establish healthier lifestyles

Methodology: Questionnaires, interviews, surveys, and food diaries. Anthropometrical measurements and biochemical and nutritional assessments. Social cognitive theory (SCT), the transtheoretical model (TTM), and the nutrition care process (NCP) model. Randomized clinical trials.

Discussion/Conclusions: Excessive energy intake, taste preference for sugary/fatty foods, watching TV during meals, having a TV in the bedroom, and watching TV for >1 hr/day, were related to increased BMI z-scores. A three-month program can be effective for overweight Hispanic children and adolescents, as well as improve fasting glucose levels, BMI, and waist circumference, which in turn decreased the risks for developing both Type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

A mixed physical exercise program lasting for three months, combined with a Mediterranean diet, improved the body composition of children and adolescents with overweight/obesity (Bruñó et al., 2018). Adherence to the Mediterranean diet has been linked to the prevention or treatment of childhood obesity, and the KIDMED index has directly impacted physical activity and diet adequacy.


Miss. Cailin O'Flaherty is from MCPHS University, United States.