Program helps teens keep weight off
NEW YORK - ReutersA series of group meetings focused on improving diet, increasing physical activity and addressing mood and body image issues helped prevent heavy teen girls from gaining weight, a new study reports.
In the new study, weight differences in girls who did and didn’t go through the program were small, but persisted for at least a few months after the sessions ended. “It didn’t have a massive impact,” said Alison Field, who studies weight gain and weight control at Children’s Hospital Boston and wasn’t involved in the new study. Still, she told Reuters Health, the program “addressed a variety of issues, some related to obesity and also just helping them deal with body image, which I thought was very important and often overlooked.”
Most programs that have tried to get overweight teens to keep off the pounds haven’t had long-term success, according to the Oregon-based researchers. The study included 208 overweight and obese girls age 12 to 17. At the outset, the researchers randomly split the girls into two groups: one that got normal care from their pediatricians, and the other that went to 16 healthy lifestyle and weight management group meetings, held over five months.
At those sessions, girls reviewed their own food and physical activity records and discussed issues that commonly affect heavy girls, including depression and emotional eating.