Most programs include family intervention, but a new study found that when motivated by their peers alone, girls practiced a healthier lifestyle.
With approximately a third of teen girls overweight or obese, and the real possibility that they will grow up to be overweight or obese adults, effective interventions are needed. The results of a new study may be onto something that could work.
Researchers with the Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research found that a program where girls were more motivated by their peers than by their parents was effective. Most other weight loss programs for children and teens typically include family intervention. However, researchers wondered whether parental influence was less important or even counterproductive with teens as they became more independent and more motivated by their peers.
The study included 208 girls between the ages of 12 and 17 who were all classified as overweight or obese according to standards set by the CDC. The girls were divided into two groups. One group was assigned to a moderately intensive behavioral program, and the other group received usual weight-loss advice.