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National Adolescent Treatment Trial for Obesity in Kuwait (NATTO): project design and results of a randomised controlled trial of a good practice approach to treatment of adolescent obesity in Kuwait

Shurooq A Boodai1*, John H McColl2 and John J Reilly3

Author Affiliations

1 University of Glasgow School of Medicine, Level 3 New Lister Building, GRI, 10 Alexander Parade, Glasgow, Scotland

2 University of Glasgow School of Mathematics and Statistics, 15 University Gardens, G12 8QQ Glasgow, Scotland

3 University of Strathclyde Physical Activity for Health Group, School of Psychological Sciences & Health, Graham Hills Building (Room 531)50 George Street, G1 1QE Glasgow, Scotland

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Trials 2014, 15:234  doi:10.1186/1745-6215-15-234

Published: 19 June 2014



Few randomised controlled trials (RCTs) of interventions for the treatment of adolescent obesity have taken place outside the western world. This RCT tested whether a simple ‘good practice’ intervention for the treatment of adolescent obesity would have a greater impact on weight status and other outcomes than a referral to primary care (control) in adolescents in Kuwait City.


We report on an assessor-blinded RCT of a treatment intervention in 82 obese 10- to 14-year-olds (mean age 12.4, SD 1.2 years), randomised to a good practice treatment or primary care control group over 6 months. The good practice intervention was intended as relatively low intensity (6 hours contact over 24 weeks, group-based), aiming to change sedentary behaviour, physical activity, and diet. The primary outcome was a change in body mass index (BMI) Z score; other outcomes were changes in waist circumference and blood pressure.


The retention of subjects to follow up was acceptable (n = 31 from the intervention group, and n = 32 from the control group), but engagement with both the intervention and control treatment was poor. Treatment had no significant effect on BMI Z score relative to control, and no other significant benefits to intervention were observed.


The trial was feasible, but highlights the need to engage obese adolescents and their families in the interventions being trialled. The trial should inform the development of future adolescent obesity treatment trials in the Gulf States with the incorporation of qualitative assessment in future intervention trials.

Trial registration

RCT Registered as National Adolescent Treatment Trial for Obesity in Kuwait (NATTO): webcite, 1 December 2009.

obesity; overweight; adolescents; treatment; BMI; randomised controlled trial