Normocaloric diet and exercise: a good choice for treating obese adolescents.

Abstract

The results of a slimming treatment in which the main features were: energy intake according to expected body weight for height (normocaloric), exercise, education and psychological support, are evaluated after one year of experience. Twenty-four obese adolescents (15 boys and 9 girls), out of thirty who started treatment, completed this stage successfully. Pubertal changes occurred and growth continued normally, mainly of lean body mass, as shown by the increase of lean body weight and muscle area of the mid-upper arm. A substantial loss of fat, expressed in a reduction of fat weight, relative fatness and fat areas of the mid-upper arm was obtained. Body weight for height shifted to lower percentile channels. The results are promising in indicating the successful treatment of obese subjects in a period of rapid growth without affecting their normal development, profiting also from the usually-observed decrease in fatness at this age. In view of the success in motivating most of the subjects to maintain the continuity of diet and physical activity, this method is considered a good choice for treating obese adolescents without severe energy restriction, thus assuring lasting effects instead of the short-term ones commonly reported in the literature.

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