Journal of Nutritional Science

  • Journal of Nutritional Science / Volume 1 / 2012, e16 (11 pages)
  • Copyright © The Author(s) 2012. The online version of this article is published within an Open Access environment subject to the conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike licence <>. The written permission of Cambridge University Press must be obtained for commercial re-use.
  • DOI: (About DOI), Published online: 21 November 2012

Behaviour, Appetite, and Obesity

Improved dietary intake among overweight and obese children followed from 8 to 12 years of age in a randomised controlled trial

Maria Walinga1 c1 and Christel Larssona1

a1 Department of Food and Nutrition, Umeå University, SE-901 87 Umeå, Sweden


More knowledge about improving dietary intake in secondary preventive actions against childhood overweight and obesity is needed. The objective was to evaluate the impact of a 2-year intervention on energy, macronutrient and food intake of overweight and obese children participating in a randomised controlled trial. Children (8–12 years old) living in Sweden were recruited to participate for 2 years between 2006 and 2009. The children were randomised into either an intervention group (n 58), participating in an intervention concerning food habits, physical activity and behavioural change, or a control group (n 47). Dietary intake at baseline and the 2-year measurement were assessed with a diet history interview covering 14 d. Energy intake (EI) of the intervention and control groups was underestimated by 28 and 21 %, respectively, after 2 years, but with no difference between the groups (P = 0·51). After 2 years of intervention, the intervention group, compared with the control group, had a lower intake of sugar-sweetened beverages (P = 0·015) as well as a higher intake of foods high in fibre, low in saturated fat, sugar and salt (P = 0·031). Further, a lower EI in relation to BMR, lower total fat, MUFA and cholesterol was seen in the intervention group compared with the control group. In conclusion, the food and nutrient intake of overweight and obese children was improved after participating in a 2-year intervention programme. Dietary counselling should be included in secondary preventive actions against childhood overweight and obesity to promote healthy food habits.

(Received March 14 2012)

(Revised August 24 2012)

(Accepted August 24 2012)

Key words

  • Dietary intake;
  • Overweight;
  • Obesity;
  • Randomised controlled trials


c1 Corresponding author: Maria Waling, fax +46 90 786 9980, email


  DHI, diet history interview; E%, energy percentage of total intake; EI, energy intake; TEE, total energy expenditure.