General and Eating Disorder Psychopathology in Relation to Short- and Long-Term Weight Change in Treatment-Seeking Children: A Latent Profile Analysis

Ann Behav Med. 2021 Jun 28;55(7):698-704. doi: 10.1093/abm/kaaa076.


Background: Concurrent general psychopathology (GP) and eating disorder psychopathology (EDP) are commonly reported among youth with overweight/obesity and may impact weight change.

Purpose: We identified patterns of GP and EDP in children with overweight/obesity and examined the impact on weight change following family-based behavioral obesity treatment (FBT) and maintenance interventions.

Methods: Children (N = 172) participated in 4 month FBT and subsequent 8 month weight maintenance interventions. GP and EDP were assessed prior to FBT (baseline). Child percentage overweight was assessed at baseline, post-FBT (4 months), and post-maintenance (12 months). Latent profile analysis identified patterns of baseline GP and EDP. Linear mixed-effects models examined if profiles predicted 4- and 12-month change in percentage overweight and if there were two-way and three-way interactions among these variables, adjusting for relevant covariates.

Results: Results indicated a three-profile structure: lower GP and EDP (LOWER); subclinically elevated GP and EDP without loss of control (LOC; HIGHER); and subclinically elevated GP and EDP with LOC (HIGHER + LOC). Across profiles, children on average achieved clinically meaningful weight loss (i.e., ≥9 unit change in percentage overweight) from baseline to 4 month FBT and sustained these improvements at 12 month maintenance. There was no evidence that latent profiles were related to percentage overweight change from baseline to FBT (p > .05) or baseline to maintenance (p > .05). There was no evidence for two-way or three-way interactions (p > .05).

Conclusion: Concurrent GP and EDP do not portend differential short- or long-term weight change following FBT and maintenance. Future research is warranted on the durability of weight change among youth with GP and EDP.

Trial registration: NCT00759746.

Keywords: Childhood obesity; Eating disorder psychopathology; General psychopathology; Treatment.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

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