Neha Sharma, working in Mittal Hospital, India as a health Nutritionist.


Background: Obesity is increasing among children and demands preventive strategies. Randomized controlled trials of Yoga and Ayurveda based diet based intervention are lacking.
Objective: To assess Guna based diet intervention was effective in reducing risk factors for childhood obesity.
Design: Group randomized controlled trial
Participants: 226 children aged 6-11 years
Intervention: Ayurvedic guna based modification of meals, and the development of meal plans based on the gunas. Parents attended group educational sessions held twice a week for 12 weeks. Children were assessed 3 months from baseline (0 and 3 months post intervention for the control and intervention group)
Main outcome measures: Body mass index, diet, physical activity, and psychological state
Results: Vegetable consumption by 24 hour recall was higher in children in the intervention group than the control group (p<0.01), representing a difference equivalent to 50% of baseline consumption. Sedentary behaviour was higher in overweight children in the control group (p<0.001). Global self worth was higher in obese children in the intervention group (p=0.0002). There was significant difference in body mass index (p<0.0001) and other psychological measures (p<0.0001). Focus groups indicated higher levels of self reported behavior change, understanding, and knowledge among children who had received the intervention.
Conclusion: In conclusion, participation in the Guna base diet Program was effective in reducing adiposity in children. Importantly, the program is the first pediatric obesity interventions which conforms to expert recommendations and is deliverable in a primary care setting. These results suggest that the program is a promising intervention to help address the rising obesity problem in children.