Efficacy of an acceptance-based behavioral intervention for weight gain prevention in young adult women

Shawn N. Katterman, Stephanie P. Goldstein, Meghan L. Butryn, Evan M. Forman, Michael R. Lowe

Young adult women, particularly those attending college, may be at risk for future weight gain. The current study examined the efficacy of a brief acceptance-based behavioral approach in facilitating weight gain prevention in female college students with a body mass index between 23 and 32 kg/m2. Fifty-eight participants were randomized to an intervention group who attended 8 group sessions over 16 weeks (n=29), or an assessment-only control group (n=29) and completed assessments at baseline, 6 weeks, post-intervention, and 1 year. Group sessions taught behavioral (e.g., monitor weight, calories, and exercise) and acceptance-based (e.g., distress tolerance, acceptance of cravings) strategies that could be applied for weight loss or weight gain prevention. The intervention resulted in a decrease in weight and body mass index of 1.57 kg and 0.52 kg/m2 (respectively) at 16 weeks that was maintained at 1 year follow up (M=−2.24 kg, M=−0.74 kg/m2) whereas the control group gained 1.07 kg and 0.34 kg/m2 over the year. Results indicate that a brief acceptance-based behavioral intervention may be effective for a group who appears to be at risk for future weight gain and further research is needed to determine mechanisms of change.

This article is restricted to ACBS members. Please join or login with your ACBS account.