OBJECTIVE: This study aims to conduct a literature review to evaluate the effectiveness of intervention programs in the prevention and control of obesity in children and to map the locations where the studies were carried out.
METHODS: A systematic review using the PubMed / MEDLINE and LILACS databases to trace the published literature on intervention programs for prevention and control of obesity in the period of January 2004 to October 2013. The initial search was conducted using the terms 'body mass index', ' Intervention' and 'children' or 'adolescent' and only articles published in English, Spanish or Portuguese were selected.
RESULTS: We found that interventions based only on advice had modest results in identifying changes in the anthropometric indicators of children and adolescents over time, although they appear to be effective in promoting positive changes in the eating habits of this population. Among the studies identified, 77.8 % were conducted in high-income countries, 22.2 % in middle to high income countries and no intervention studies were found in middle to low income countries.
CONCLUSION: Intervention programs based only on counseling are effective in promoting changes in dietary patterns, but show poor results in the changes of anthropometric parameters of children and adolescents.