Objective: To assess whether parent training in behavioral intervention, combined with a 16-session nutrition and activity education program, would improve weight loss relative to nutrition and activity education alone in adolescents and young adults with Down syndrome.
Study design: Twenty-one patients with Down syndrome aged 13-26 years with a body mass index ≥ 85 th percentile were enrolled and randomized to a 6-month nutrition and activity education intervention (n = 10) or to a nutrition and activity education+behaviorial intervention (n = 11), and followed for 6 months after the active intervention period (1-year follow-up). The primary outcome measure was body weight; secondary outcomes included percentage body fat by bioelectric impedance; intake of fruits, vegetables, and energy-dense low-nutrient snack food (treats) by 3-day food record; and moderate/vigorous physical activity by accelerometry.
Results: At 6 months, mean body weight in the nutrition and activity education+behavioral intervention group was 3.2 kg lower than that in the nutrition and activity education group (95% CI, 1.0-5.5 kg; P = .005). Mean group differences were sustained at 1 year (3.6 kg; 95% CI, 1.4-5.9 kg; P = .002). At 6 months, moderate/vigorous physical activity time increased by an average of 18 minutes/day compared with baseline in the nutrition and activity education+behavioral intervention group (P = .01) and decreased by 7 minutes/day in the nutrition and activity education group (P = .30). These changes were largely maintained at 1 year, but were not statistically significant. Vegetable intake in the nutrition and activity education+behavioral intervention group exceeded that in the nutrition and activity education group by a mean of 1.6 servings at 1 year (P = .009), but not at 6 months. No between-group differences were observed for percentage body fat or consumption of fruits or treats.
Conclusion: Parent-supported behavioral intervention appears to be a successful adjunct to a 6-month nutrition education intervention in achieving weight loss in adolescents and young adults with Down syndrome.
Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01256112.
Keywords: %fat; Percentage body fat.
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