Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

MS in Physician Assistant Studies (PA)


Physician Assistant Studies

First Advisor

Vanessa Bester, EdD, PA-C

Second Advisor

pediatric obesity, childhood obesity, treatment models, Family Behavioral Therapy, Primary Care, community-centered interventions, behavioral modifications, United States


Background: Obesity in children has increased at an alarming rate in the past three decades and has been associated with multiple comorbidities. This literature review has been focused on pediatric obesity management research utilizing Family-Based Therapy, community-centered interventions, behavioral modifications, and implementations for management within the Primary Care setting.

Purpose: There has not been an established standard of care for children suffering from obesity. This investigation was focused on the question; What alternative models are effective in improving health outcomes in children with obesity in the United States?

Methods: A comprehensive literature review was conducted using Pub Med advanced search engine. Search terms included pediatric, childhood, adolescent, overweight, obesity, BMI, management, prevention, and treatment. Exclusion criteria terms were endocrine, pregnancy, and adulthood.

Conclusion: Research designs that have shown success with BMI reduction include social and family support, education, limiting screen time, reduced caloric intake, and increased activity levels. The most successful programs for management include multiple factors from this list and are interventions for more than three months. When looking at long-term sustainability treatment duration should extend longer than six months.

Treatment that is specific to a patient’s unique circumstances has shown the greatest success in meeting treatment goals. Family-Behavioral Therapy has been shown to be the most effective in lifestyle changes that are sustainable long-term for pedantic patients of any age and their families. Further research does need to be conducted regarding the long-term sustainability of treatment that is cost-effective.


SC 11.PAS.2022.Reineke.K

Included in

Pediatrics Commons