Program

Dec 19, 2011

OVERVIEW

Two behavioral weight control interventions on binge eating symptoms were evaluated among moderately overweight adolescents. Adolescents were randomly assigned to either a cognitive behavioral treatment with peer-enhanced adventure therapy or a cognitive behavioral treatment with aerobic exercise for 16 weeks. Both interventions required adolescents to limit calorie intake and increase exercise, as well as to receive education regarding behavioral strategies, and only differed in how the exercise was performed. Results revealed that all adolescents reduced their binge eating symptoms, with no differences in level of symptoms found across treatments.

DESCRIPTION OF PROGRAM

Target population: Moderately overweight adolescents ages between 13 and 16 years and their parents

The program consists of two behavioral weight control interventions for binge eating symptoms among overweight adolescents. One is a cognitive behavioral treatment with peer enhanced adventure therapy, and the other is a cognitive behavioral treatment with aerobic exercise. Both interventions include dietary and exercise prescription and education related to behavioral strategies. Adolescents and parents in both conditions undergo treatment for 16 weeks, during which time adolescents restrict caloric intake to 1,400-1,600 calories a day and increase physical activity to reach at least moderate activity on most days of the week. In addition, adolescents and parents attend separate meetings weekly. Treatment conditions differ in the on-site activity program that adolescents received. Those in the cognitive behavioral treatment with peer-enhanced adventure therapy participate in a peer-based physical activity program designed to increase teamwork and social skills, while those in the cognitive behavioral treatment with aerobic exercise participate in supervised aerobic exercise.

EVALUATION(S) OF PROGRAM

Mehlenbeck, R. S., Jelalian, E., Lloyd-Richardson, E., & Hart, C. N. (2009). Effects of behavioral weight control intervention on binge eating symptoms among overweight adolescents. Psychology in the Schools, 46, 776-786.

Study 1

Evaluated population: A total of 76 moderately overweight adolescents averaging 15 years of age participated in the study. In order to participate, adolescents had to be between 20 percent and 80 percent overweight as defined by BMI, between 13 and 16 years old, be English speakers, and have one parent able to participate. The final sample was 71 percent female and primarily white (79 percent).

Approach: After an initial phone screening interview, participants attended an in-person assessment to confirm eligibility and complete baseline measures. Baseline measures included weight; height; the Binge Eating Scale, which assesses binge eating symptoms; the Self-Perception Profile for Adolescents, which assesses adolescent’s perceptions of their competence in domains of global self-concept, social acceptance, athletic competence, and physical appearance self-concept; and the Physical Self-Worth scale of the Children’s Physical Self-Perception Profile, which measures global perceptions of satisfaction and confidence with the physical self. After the baseline assessment, participants were randomly assigned to one of two treatment conditions, either the cognitive behavioral treatment with peer enhanced adventure therapy or the cognitive behavioral treatment with aerobic exercise. Assessments were also completed at the end of the 16-week intervention.

Results: Analyses of adolescents in both conditions revealed a significant decrease in binge eating symptoms, with no significant differences across conditions.

Study 2

Evaluated population: A total of 118 moderately overweight adolescents averaging 14 years of age participated in the study. In order to participate, adolescents had to be between 30 percent and 90 percent overweight as defined by BMI, between 13 and 16 years old, be English speakers, and one parent had to be able to participate. The final sample was 68 percent female and primarily white (78 percent).

Approach: Same as Study 1

Results: Analyses of adolescents in both conditions revealed a significant decrease in binge eating symptoms, with no significant differences across conditions.

SOURCES FOR MORE INFORMATION

References

Mehlenbeck, R. S., Jelalian, E., Lloyd-Richardson, E., & Hart, C. N. (2009). Effects of behavioral weight control intervention on binge eating symptoms among overweight adolescents. Psychology in the Schools, 46, 776-786.

KEYWORDS:
adolescents (12-17), youth (16+), males and females (co-ed), clinic/provider-based, parent or family component, skills training, eating disorders, nutrition

Program information last updated 12/19/11.

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