Obese Adolescent Females and Actual Behavioral Responses to a Mindful Eating Intervention
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractBackground: Adolescent obesity has tripled over the last three decades and is associated with an 80 percent risk of adult obesity, hypertension, diabetes, hypercholesterolemia, and decreased life expectancy. Current adolescent obesity medical recommendations include bariatric surgery and appetite suppressants which lower BMI, but present serious health risks. Nutrition and exercise interventions promote health, however, meta-analysis reveal do not lower BMI. Mindful eating, a behavioral skill, reconnecting eating to satiety cues, and has potential as an anti-obesity intervention which lowers BMI, while promoting health. Study Aims: Aim 1: To determine the effect of a mindful eating intervention compared to usual diet and exercise information on BMI of obese female adolescents. Aim 2: To determine if the effect of a mindful eating intervention on BMI of obese female adolescents is sustained over time. Aim 3: To determine the feasibility of conducting a group mindful eating intervention over six weeks for obese adolescent girls in their school setting. Methods: Obesity was measured by Body Mass Index (BMI) = Weight in Pounds / Height in inches x Height in inches x 703. The sample included adolescent females aged 14-17 years with BMI>90th%. Participants were randomized to an intervention group receiving a 6 week mindful eating intervention and a comparison group receiving the usual care of nutrition and physical activity handouts. Participants' BMI was measured at baseline, immediately post intervention and at 4 week follow up assessing intervention effectiveness. Results: ANOVA results demonstrate a statistically significant difference in BMI between the experimental and comparison groups F(1,2)=22.24, p<.001. On average, the experimental group's BMI decreased 0.71, whereas the comparison group's BMI increased by 1.1 over the 6 week intervention. The experimental group's BMI continued to decline at the 4 week follow up. Attrition from the study was 38%, below the 45% set feasibility threshold. A group mindful eating intervention over six weeks for obese adolescent girls was effective in lowering BMI sustained over time is feasible. Teaching the behavioral skill of mindful eating holds great promise for combatting obesity in adolescents. Future study should include a school based intervention with a larger more diverse sample.
Degree ProgramGraduate College