Weight and blood pressure changes were evaluated in a 16-month controlled trial comparing three methods of involving mothers in the treatment of their obese adolescents (aged 12 to 16 years). The treatments were: (1) Mother-Child Separately—children and mothers attended separate groups; (2) Mother-Child Together—the children and mothers met together in the same group; and (3) Child Alone—the children met in groups and mothers were not involved. The program consisted of behavior modification, social support, nutrition, and exercise. The Mother-Child Separately group lost more weight (8.4 kg) during treatment than did the other two groups (5.3 and 3.3 kg). Differences between the groups increased at the 1-year follow-up: compared to pretreatment weight, the Mother-Child Separately group lost 7.7 kg compared with gains of approximately 3 kg in the other two groups. Blood pressures of children with the highest initial pressures decreased by 16/9 mm Hg at the end of treatment and by 16/5 mm Hg at the 1-year follow-up. These results suggest that a program of behavior modification and parent involvement can lead to significant weight losses in obese children, and that the nature of parent involvement may be important.
- Received June 11, 1982.
- Accepted August 25, 1982.
- Copyright © 1983 by the American Academy of Pediatrics