The Solution Method: 2-year trends in weight, blood pressure, exercise, depression, and functioning of adults trained in development skills

J Am Diet Assoc. 1997 Oct;97(10):1133-8. doi: 10.1016/S0002-8223(97)00274-5.


This study describes changes observed during a 2-year period in participants enrolled in The Solution Method, a developmental skills training program for adult weight management. This intervention is the adult application of a model of treatment previously used only in the management of pediatric obesity (The Shapedown Program). Developmental skills training integrates understandings and methods from developmental, family systems, biomedical, genetic, and behavioral theories of the etiology of obesity. Twenty-two subjects (mean age = 43.4 +/- 8.5 years and mean body mass index = 33.1 +/- 5.3) completed a group intervention based on this method, which was conducted by a registered dietitian and a mental health professional. Questionnaire responses indicated the extent to which their weight was a medical and/ or psychosocial risk. Subjects attended 2-hour weekly sessions for an average of 18 weeks during which they were trained in six developmental skills: strong nurturing, effective limits, body pride, good health, balanced eating, and mastery living. Data, which were collected at the beginning of treatment and at 3, 6, 12, and 24 months, included weight, blood pressure, 7-day exercise recalls, and responses to depression and functioning (psychosocial, vocational, and economic) questionnaires. Participants' weights decreased throughout the 2-year period of the study: mean weight change was -4.2 kg (3 months), -6.0 kg (6 months), -7.0 kg (12 months), and -7.9 kg (24 months). In addition, compared with baseline values, systolic and diastolic blood pressure, exercise, and depression improved throughout the study period. These improvements were statistically significant at 24 months for weight (P < .01), systolic blood pressure (P < .02), diastolic blood pressure (P < .001), and exercise (P < .001); the results were not statistically significant for depression. Most participants reported improvement in a broad range of aspects of functioning. We conclude that this application of developmental skills training for adult weight management may produce significant long-term beneficial effects.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Behavior Therapy*
  • Blood Pressure
  • Depression
  • Exercise
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Life Style
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Obesity / physiopathology
  • Obesity / psychology
  • Obesity / therapy*
  • Weight Loss