Recommendation ID
Recommendation 1 Research studies and trials. Who should take action? Research councils, commissioners and funders.
Any explanatory notes
(if applicable)
What action should they take?
Research studies and trials of lifestyle weight management programmes for children and young people who are obese or overweight should:
- Standardise outcome measures to assess effectiveness. Outcomes should be reported on an 'intention to treat' basis (as opposed to reporting outcomes for programme completers only). They should include:
- changes in BMI z score, as the primary outcome measure
- factors that affect weight (matching these to the intervention objectives) for example, measures of self-efficacy, changes in diet, physical activity and time spent being sedentary and measures of wellbeing.
- Standardise the time points at which outcome measures are reported and followed up. They should include, as a minimum: at baseline, completion of the intervention and at 6 months and at 1 year after completing the intervention.
- Report in detail the components of the intervention. This should include: what is done, to whom, by whom, in which setting, and when and how?
- Include an appropriate comparator group and report the components above. If a randomised controlled trial is not possible, alternative research designs should be considered.
- Report attrition (drop-out) rates, follow up non-completers and investigate the causes of attrition. Also should investigate the causes of low uptake and how these might be addressed.
- Be sufficiently powered to detect effects.
- If possible use only standardised validated tools (appropriate for the study sample) to collect data, for example, a validated food frequency questionnaire to investigate dietary intake. If validated tools for secondary measures do not exist, a tool to measure the outcome (for example, physical activity) should be developed as part of the study.
- Include the collection and analysis of qualitative data to allow a process evaluation of the intervention. These data should include the referral process and experiences of both programme staff and participants.
- Include the collection of cost data to allow cost effectiveness to be evaluated.
- Report any unexpected effects or outcomes.

Source guidance details

Comes from guidance
Weight management: lifestyle services for overweight or obese children and young people
Date issued
October 2013

Other details

Is this a recommendation for the use of a technology only in the context of research? No  
Is it a recommendation that suggests collection of data or the establishment of a register?   No  
Last Reviewed 14/11/2013