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.