Anthropometric and psychosocial changes in obese adolescents enrolled in a Weight Management Program

J Am Diet Assoc. 2005 Mar;105(3):364-70. doi: 10.1016/j.jada.2004.12.009.


Objective: To determine short- and long-term effects of the Bright Bodies Weight Management Program on obese adolescents and to further observe if a diet or nondiet approach is more successful.

Design: Twenty-five obese adolescents completed a 1-year, comprehensive weight-management program and returned for a 2-year follow-up. Adolescents were 11 to 16 years old (17 female, eight male) with mixed ethnic backgrounds. Although the program emphasizes a nondiet approach, eight children requested a structured meal plan (diet approach), while 17 were taught to make better food choices (nondiet approach). Body mass index (BMI) z score, body fat percent, and self-concept were measured at 0, 1, and 2 years. Outcomes were analyzed for the entire group and by diet method groups.

Statistical analysis: Changes in outcome variables were evaluated using covariance pattern models for repeated measures.

Results: At 1 year, the entire group (N=25) demonstrated a decrease in BMI z score (P <.001) and body fat percent (P <.001), while self-concept scores increased (P <.001). At 2 years, the decrease in BMI z score was still significant (P =.004) and body fat percent and self-concept scores remained improved, although not significant compared to baseline (P =.15 and P =.10, respectively). When comparing dietary approaches, the dieting group (n=8) tended to show favorable results short-term for BMI z score at year 1 (P =.11), but by year 2, the nondieting group (n=17) further improved BMI z score (P =.006), while the dieting group reverted toward baseline.

Conclusions: The Bright Bodies Weight Management Program was successful at decreasing BMI z scores both short and long term. In a separate analysis, dieting showed more superior short-term results, but a nondiet approach demonstrated improved long-term results.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adipose Tissue / metabolism
  • Adolescent
  • Adolescent Nutritional Physiological Phenomena*
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Anthropometry
  • Body Composition / physiology
  • Body Mass Index
  • Child
  • Diet, Reducing*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Obesity / diet therapy*
  • Obesity / psychology*
  • Self Concept*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Weight Loss