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

Author(s):
Shawn N. Katterman, Stephanie P. Goldstein, Meghan L. Butryn, Evan M. Forman, Michael R. Lowe

Abstract:
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.

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