Study designs of evaluations included in the review
It appears from the search strategy that completed randomised controlled trials (RCTs), systematic reviews and meta-analyses were eligible for inclusion in the review. However, not all of the included studies were RCTs.
Specific interventions included in the review
Studies that compared prevention or early treatment programmes with a control or comparison programme were eligible for inclusion. Most of the included prevention studies were school-based; other studies were based in the community or an out-patient department. All treatment intervention studies were clinic-based. The studies compared a variety of interventions (e.g. information, types of dietary advice, physical activity, cognitive therapy, behaviour therapy, problem-solving skills, parental management and parenting skills) with each other or usual care. Some programmes involved parents. The duration of the interventions ranged from 2 weeks to 12 months for prevention studies and from 4 weeks to 12 months for treatment intervention studies. The studies were conducted in a variety of countries including Italy, Thailand, Britain, Germany, Israel, Austria, Australia and the USA.
Participants included in the review
Studies that included young children (aged 4 to 7 years) who were overweight, obese, or at risk of obesity, were eligible for inclusion. The included studies were in children aged from 3 to 18.8 years. Treatment intervention studies recruited children through the media, schools or through referral.
Outcomes assessed in the review
Studies that assessed healthy weight maintenance or weight loss were eligible for inclusion in the review.
How were decisions on the relevance of primary studies made?
The authors did not state how the papers were selected for the review, or how many reviewers performed the selection.