Nutrition, Exercise, and Wellness Treatment in bipolar disorder: proof of concept for a consolidated intervention

Int J Bipolar Disord. 2013 Oct 1;1(1):24. doi: 10.1186/2194-7511-1-24.


Background: This pilot study examines the proof of concept of a consolidated Nutrition, Exercise, and Wellness Treatment (NEW Tx) for overweight individuals with bipolar disorder.

Findings: Five participants completed NEW Tx, a 20-week individual cognitive behavioral therapy-based treatment comprising three modules: Nutrition teaches appropriate serving sizes and balanced diet; Exercise emphasizes increasing weekly physical activity; Wellness focuses on skills for healthy decision-making. Participants attended most sessions and reported high satisfaction with the treatment. Participants' weight, cholesterol and trigyclerides decreased over the study duration as well as number of daily calories and sugar intake. We found that weekly exercise duration more than tripled over the study duration and depressive symptoms and functioning have improved.

Conclusions: These results offer proof of concept that consolidated NEW Tx is feasible and acceptable and has the potential to improve nutrition, exercise, wellness, and mood symptoms in bipolar disorder. Future iterations of NEW Tx will reflect the strengths and lessons learned from this study.

Keywords: Behavior therapy; Bipolar disorder; Cardiovascular disease; Cognitive behavior therapy; Exercise.