Title. Effect of dietary behaviour modification on anthropometric indices and eating behaviour in obese adolescent girls.
Aim. This paper is a report of a study conducted to evaluate the effects of behaviour modification on anthropometric indices and to explore if behaviour modification could improve eating behaviour in adolescents.
Background. Obesity is currently the most important nutritional disease of children and adolescents. To date, several attempts to achieve weight loss in children have been made, but little is known about their effects on improving eating behaviours.
Method. Sixty obese adolescent girls participated in a behaviour modification program which was held for 16 weeks in 2007. The participants were randomly selected from two different schools and were assigned to an experimental and control group (30 participants each). Anthropometric indices and eating behaviours were assessed before and after the program. Eating behaviour was assessed using the Dutch Eating Behaviour Questionnaire.
Result. There were statistically significant differences in changes in body weight (−2·75 kg vs. 0·62 kg), body mass index (−1·07 kg/m2 vs. 0·24 kg/m2) and arm circumference (−2·31 cm vs. 0·5 cm) in the experimental group in contrast to controls (P < 0·001). There were also statistically significant differences in scores for eating behaviour, emotional eating (0·63, 0·17), external eating (0·99, 0·05) and restrained eating (0·72, 0·03) in the experimental vs. the control group respectively (P < 0·001).
Conclusion. Nurses, more than other healthcare professionals, can address obesity in adolescents and they should not concentrate solely on weight reduction, but also encourage children to acquire a healthy lifestyle.