Thanks to my PhD student, Jill Avis, for coming across a recent study that examined the impact of a real family-centred intervention for children and parents with obesity.
In a novel study (see pdf below), both parents and children participated in an intervention that was designed not just for parents to support their children in making positive lifestyle and behavioural changes (the traditional model), but for parents AND children to receive both independent and collective support for weight management.
As with most interventions of this nature, changes in weight status were modest. However, what this study highlighted is a model of delivering health services that makes a lot of common sense; children with obesity and their parents with obesity usually share similar lifestyle habits and the same physical and social environments, so interventions designed to engineer positive changes in these areas are likely to benefit families as a whole. Further testing/tweaking of comprehensive, inclusive models of family-centred care for weight management is needed, but this study represents an important step in encouraging us (researchers, clinicians, health care administrators) to consider shifting the paradigm in how and for whom we offer care.