Common sense would dictate that parents are the first line of defence when it comes to preventing obesity in children.
Now there's a study to back up what most people suspect - approaches that specifically target parents can result in significant weight loss in moderately obese prepubertal children.
■Randomized controlled trial of 169 moderately obese children, who were 5 to 9 years of age.
■Parents were targeted as the agents of change, and were randomly assigned to take a six-month health lifestyle course alone, or in combination with a parenting training course.
■The children's body mass index (BMI) and waist z scores were measured at the end of the parenting training, and then at six-month intervals during a two-year follow-up period.
■The researchers also studied the impact of the training course on parenting outcomes, measured by questionnaires assessing factors such as parental feelings of satisfaction and efficacy in their role.