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BMI may not be the best measure for obese child's health

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A new study has claimed that focusing on a single factor like the degree of BMI change among obese children is restrictive and can overlook other important health outcomes.

According to the study, an intervention intended to combat childhood obesity can have beneficial effects on other health outcomes, such as cardiovascular fitness, regardless of its effect on BMI.

Maria Kolotourou and a team of authors involved in the Mind, Exercise, Nutrition...Do It! (MEND) trial from University of , University College London, and Mytime MEND gathered data from a group of obese children before they participated in the MEND childhood obesity intervention and again at 6- and 12-month follow-up intervals.

The researchers measured BMI, degree of change in BMI, waist circumference, cardiovascular fitness, physical activity, sedentary behaviors, and self-esteem.

In their study, authors report improvements, in several of the parameters measured, independent of whether a child's BMI decreased, increased, or remained the same.

David L. Katz, MD, MPH, Editor-in-Chief of Childhood Obesity and Director of Yale University's Prevention Research Center, said that good interventions aimed at helping overweight children lose weight should be equally directed at helping them to find health.

The findings have been published in Childhood Obesity, a peer-reviewed journal.

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