Participating in moderate to vigorous physical activity and limiting time in front of the television are some of the keys to successful weight loss in teens, according to researchers at the University of Minnesota Medical School.
Research published in a recent issue of Obesity identified common factors among teens, ages 16 to 18, who successfully lost weight:
"Today, nearly 31 percent of adolescents in the United States are considered overweight," said Kerri Boutelle, Ph.D., lead author of the study and assistant professor in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Minnesota Medical School. "It is clear that exercising, staying active, and limiting sedentary activity is essential to teens successfully losing weight."
According to the study, successful weight loss for overweight teens averaged 14 percent reduction of their body weight for females and 12 percent reduction for males within a year. The average weight loss met the 10 percent goal recommended for adults to experience the medical benefits of weight loss.
"The study gives researchers, clinicians, and parents a better understanding that teens can lose weight, and what behaviors are associated with success," said Boutelle.
Researchers analyzed data from 1,726 adolescents from the ages of 16 to 18 who completed a questionnaire and interview in the National Health and Nutrition Survey study from 1999 to 2002. Dietary intake, physical activity, and dieting attitudes were compared across the entire sample of teens, and then specifically compared in those who were considered overweight.
This study was supported by the University of Minnesota Medical School and School of Public Health Division of Epidemiology and Community Health.
Materials provided by University of Minnesota. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.
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