Exercise therapy as a treatment for psychopathologic conditions in obese and morbidly obese adolescents: a randomized, controlled trial

DALEY, A. J., COPELAND, R. J., WRIGHT, N. P., ROALFE, A. and WALES, J. K. H. (2006). Exercise therapy as a treatment for psychopathologic conditions in obese and morbidly obese adolescents: a randomized, controlled trial. Pediatrics, 118 (5), 2126-2134.

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Link to published version:: https://doi.org/10.1542/peds.2006-1285


Objective. We conducted a proof-of-concept, randomized, controlled trial to investigate the effects of a supervised exercise therapy intervention on psychopathologic outcomes in obese adolescents.

Methods. The participant sample consisted of 81 adolescents (age: 11–16 years) who had been referred to a children's hospital for evaluation of obesity or who responded to a community advertisement. Participants were assigned randomly to exercise therapy, an equal-contact exercise placebo intervention, or usual care. Intervention participants attended 3 one-on-one sessions per week for 8 weeks and then completed a home program for another 6 weeks. Outcomes included self-perceptions (self-esteem), depression, affect, physical activity, aerobic fitness, and BMI.

Results. A total of 18 of 81 participants were categorized as morbidly obese (BMI SD score: >3.5; adult equivalent BMI:≥ 40). At baseline, 30.3% of participants had a Children's Depression Inventory score of ≥13, and 27% reported recent suicidal ideation. Repeated-measures mixed analysis of covariance (controlling for baseline scores) revealed significant changes in physical self-worth, associated measures of self-esteem, and physical activity over time, consistently favoring exercise therapy. There were no significant changes in BMI.

Conclusions. Findings confirmed psychopathologic conditions as a serious health concern in obese and morbidly obese adolescents. Our study is the first randomized, controlled trial to demonstrate that a brief supervised exercise therapy intervention has the potential to improve psychopathologic outcomes significantly and to increase physical activity in obese adolescents, relative to usual care.

Item Type: Article
Research Institute, Centre or Group - Does NOT include content added after October 2018: Centre for Sport and Exercise Science
Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.1542/peds.2006-1285
Page Range: 2126-2134
Depositing User: Ann Betterton
Date Deposited: 23 Dec 2008
Last Modified: 18 Mar 2021 21:45
URI: https://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/625

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