Objective: To evaluate the efficacy of behavioral weight control intervention with a peer-enhanced activity intervention versus structured aerobic exercise in decreasing body mass index (BMI) and z-BMI in overweight adolescents.
Study design: Participants were randomized to 1 of 2 group-based treatment conditions: (1) cognitive behavioral treatment with peer-enhanced adventure therapy or (2) cognitive behavioral weight control treatment with supervised aerobic exercise. Participants included 118 overweight adolescents, ages 13 to 16 years, and a primary caregiver. Changes in BMI, standardized BMI, percent over BMI, and waist circumference were examined.
Results: Analysis of variance on the basis of intent-to-treat indicated significant decreases in all weight change outcomes at the end of treatment, with significant decreases maintained at the 12-month follow-up. No differences in treatment conditions were observed. Secondary analyses indicated that adherence with attendance and completion of weekly diet records contributed significantly to reductions in BMI.
Conclusions: A cognitive behavioral weight control intervention combined with supervised aerobic exercise or peer-enhanced adventure therapy is equally effective in short-term reduction of BMI and z-BMI in overweight adolescents. Adherence, as measured with session attendance and self-monitoring, is a key dimension of weight change.
Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00285558.
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