Program

Aug 31, 2007

OVERVIEW

SHAPEDOWN is an obesity intervention designed for
adolescents. In an experimental study, obese adolescents were randomly
assigned to receive the SHAPEDOWN intervention or to receive no
intervention. One year after the conclusion of the SHAPEDOWN
intervention, absolute weight gain was 5.15 kilograms lower in the treatment
group than it was in the control group. Treatment subjects were found to
have significant improvement on relative weight (actual weight over mean weight
for individuals of that age, sex, and height), weight-related behavior,
self-esteem, depressive symptoms, and weight management knowledge.
Control subjects showed no significant improvement on any of these outcomes
except self-esteem.

DESCRIPTION OF PROGRAM

Target population: obese adolescents

SHAPEDOWN uses a self-directed change format to encourage
adolescents to make successive, sustainable, small modifications in their diet,
exercise, relationships, lifestyle, communications, and attitudes. The
program discourages very-low-calorie and restrictive diets and instead
encourages overall fitness and healthy choices.

Every participating adolescent’s
treatment is individualized; consequently, SHAPEDOWN sessions can be delivered
individually or in group settings. Each session includes a voluntary
weigh-in, a leader-facilitated group interaction, and an exercise period.
The program currently includes ten 2.5-hour sessions for adolescents.

Parents are also encouraged to get involved in the SHAPEDOWN
program and two parent sessions are offered over the course of the
intervention.

EVALUATION(S) OF PROGRAM

Mellin, L. M., Slinkard, L. A., & Irwin,
C. E.
(1987).Adolescent
Obesity Intervention: Validation of the SHAPEDOWN Program. Journal of
the American Dietetic Association, 87
(3), 333-338.

Evaluated population: 66 obese individuals served as
the study sample for this investigation. Subjects were from northern California and ranged in
age from 12 to 18. 88% of subjects were white, 7% were Hispanic, 3% were
black, and 2% were Asian.

Approach: Subjects were recruited by nutritionists at
four health centers – a rural health department, a rural nutrition private
practice, a suburban medical clinic, and an urban medical center outpatient
clinic. Subjects were randomly assigned to the treatment group (37
subjects) or to the control group (29 subjects).

Subjects assigned to the treatment group paid to take part
in a 14-session implementation of the SHAPEDOWN program. Sessions
occurred on a weekly basis and were 90 minutes in length. Each session
included a voluntary weigh in, leader-facilitated group interaction, and an
exercise period. Parents of treatment subjects were also encouraged to attend
two SHAPEDOWN parent sessions. Nutritionists served as SHAPEDOWN group
leaders. Group leaders received seven hours of instruction on adolescent
obesity and three hours of training on study methodology.

Subjects assigned to the control group paid no fees and
received no treatment during the first six months of the study. These
individuals were offered the opportunity to register for a program starting six
months later.

All subjects had their height and weight measured at
baseline and again 3, 6, and 15 months later. Subjects also filled out
questionnaires at baseline and the 3- and 15-month follow-ups. No
differences existed between groups on any outcome measures at baseline.

Results: At 3-month and 15-month follow-ups,
treatment subjects showed significant improvement on relative weight (actual
weight over mean weight for individuals of that age, sex, and height),
weight-related behavior, self-esteem, depressive symptoms, and weight
management knowledge. Control subjects showed no significant improvement
on any of these outcomes except self-esteem.

At the conclusion of the study (one year after the SHAPEDOWN
program concluded), absolute weight gain was 5.15 kilograms lower in the
treatment group than it was in the control group.

SOURCES FOR MORE INFORMATION

Curriculum materials available for purchase at:

http://www.shapedown.com/

References:

Mellin, L. M., Slinkard, L. A., & Irwin, C.
E. (1987).Adolescent Obesity
Intervention: Validation of the SHAPEDOWN Program. Journal of the
American Dietetic Association, 87
(3), 333-338.

KEYWORDS: Adolescence, Adolescents, Youth, Young Adulthood,
Young Adults, Physical Health, Clinic-Based, Nutrition, Obese, Obesity, Mental
Health, Depression, Self Esteem, Education, Life Skills Training, Parent or
Family Component, Rural, Suburban, Urban, Caucasian or White, Hispanic or
Latino, Black or African-American, Asian.

Program information last updated on 8/31/07