Fit4Life: A weight loss intervention for children who have survived childhood leukemia

Jeannie S. Huang, Lindsay Dillon, Laura Terrones, Lynn Schubert, William Roberts, Jerry Finklestein, Maria C. Swartz, Gregory J. Norman, Kevin Patrick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations


Background: Children surviving acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) are at increased risk for overweight and obesity over that of the general population. Whether a generic or tailored approach to weight management is needed for cancer survivors has yet to be tested. Procedure: Thirty-eight youth 8-18 years with BMI≥85% who had survived ALL were recruited for a randomized clinical trial evaluating a weight management intervention (WMI) tailored for childhood ALL survivors (Fit4Life). Fit4Life recipients received a 4-month web, phone, and text message-delivered WMI tailored for cancer survivorship. Controls received a general WMI delivered via phone and mail. Assessments were performed at baseline and 4 months. Outcome data were analyzed according to assigned treatment condition over time. Results: Most (80%, (70%, 100%) [median (IQR)]) of the assigned curriculum was received by Fit4Life participants as compared to 50% (40%, 65%) among controls. Fit4Life recipients ≥14 years demonstrated less weight gain (P=0.05) and increased moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (P<0.01) while all Fit4Life recipients reported reduced negative mood (P<0.05) over time as compared to control counterparts. Conclusions: We demonstrated acceptable feasibility of a WMI tailored for overweight and obese children surviving ALL utilizing a multimodal technology approach. Improved weight, weight-related behavior, and psychological outcomes were demonstrated among Fit4Life intervention as compared to youth receiving a generic WMI. Data from this pilot trial may be used to design a larger trial to determine whether youth of all ages also can derive a benefit from a cancer survivor-tailored WMI and whether short-term outcomes translate into improved long-term outcomes for childhood ALL survivors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)894-900
Number of pages7
JournalPediatric Blood and Cancer
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Childhood cancer
  • Leukemia
  • Survivorship
  • Weight management

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Hematology
  • Oncology


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