Short-term weight loss with diet and physical activity in young adults: The IDEA study

Obesity (Silver Spring). 2015 Dec;23(12):2385-97. doi: 10.1002/oby.21241. Epub 2015 Nov 5.


Objective: This study examined the effect of a behavioral weight loss intervention (BWLI) on young adults (age = 18-35 years).

Methods: Participants (N = 470) enrolled in a 6-month BWLI that included weekly group sessions, a prescribed energy-restricted diet, and moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA). Assessments included weight, body composition, fitness, lipids, glucose, insulin, resting blood pressure and heart rate, physical activity, and dietary intake. Data are presented as median [25th, 75th percentiles].

Results: Retention was 90% (N = 424; age: 30.9 [27.8, 33.7] years; BMI: 31.2 [28.4, 34.3] kg m(-2) ). Participants completed 87.5% [76.1%, 95.5%] of scheduled intervention contacts. Weight and body fat decreased while fitness increased (P < 0.0001). MVPA in bouts ≥10 min increased (P < 0.0001), though total MVPA did not change significantly. Sedentary time decreased (P = 0.03). Energy and percent fat intake decreased, while percent carbohydrate and protein intake increased (P < 0.0001). Systolic and diastolic blood pressure, total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, triglycerides, glucose, and insulin decreased (P < 0.0001).

Conclusions: A 6-month BWLI produced favorable changes in dietary intake and physical activity and elicited favorable changes in weight and other health outcomes in young adults. MVPA performed in bouts of ≥10 min was associated with greater weight loss, but sedentary behavior was not.

Trial registration: NCT01131871.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Behavior Therapy*
  • Body Composition / physiology
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Diet, Reducing*
  • Exercise / physiology
  • Exercise Therapy / methods
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Motor Activity / physiology*
  • Obesity / prevention & control
  • Overweight / therapy*
  • Time Factors
  • Weight Loss* / physiology
  • Young Adult

Associated data