OBJECTIVE: The aim was to evaluate the efficacy of a Family Weight School treatment based on family therapy in group meetings with adolescents with a high degree of obesity. METHODS: Seventy-two obese adolescents aged 12-19 years old were referred to a childhood obesity center by pediatricians and school nurses and offered a Family Weight School therapy program in group meetings given by a multidisciplinary team. Intervention was compared with an untreated waiting list control group. Body mass index (BMI) and BMI z-scores were calculated before and after intervention. RESULTS: Ninety percent of the intervention group completed the program (34 boys, 31 girls; baseline age = 14.8 +/- 1.8 years [mean +/- standard deviation, SD], BMI = 34 +/- 4.0, BMI z-score = 3.3 +/- 0.4). In the control group 10 boys and 13 girls (baseline age = 14.3 +/- 1.6, BMI = 34.1 +/- 4.8, BMI z-score = 3.2 +/- 0.4) participated in the 1-year follow-up. Adolescents in the intervention group with initial BMI z-score < 3.5 (n = 49 out of 65, baseline mean age = 14.8, mean BMI = 33.0, mean BMI z-score = 3.1), showed a significant decrease in BMI z-scores in both genders (-0.09 +/- 0.04, p = 0.039) compared with those in the control group with initial BMI z-score < 3.5 (n = 17 out of 23, mean baseline age = 14.1, mean baseline BMI = 31.6, mean baseline BMI z-score = 3.01). No difference was found in adolescents with BMI z-scores > 3.5. CONCLUSIONS: Family Weight School treatment model might be suitable for adolescents with BMI z-score < 3.5 treated with a few sessions in a multidisciplinary program.
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