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Member Research & Reports

Member Research & Reports

Minnesota Study Finds Behavioral and Environmental Factors Play a Role in Obesity Remission in Adolescents

A new study from the University of Minnesota School of Public Health shows positive behavioral and environmental changes can help adolescents with obesity to achieve healthy weights in the future.

The study was published in the Journal of Adolescent Health.

[Photo: Dr. Allison Watts]

The goal of the research was to determine if adolescents with obesity can successfully achieve a healthier weight in young adulthood, as well as reveal if any psychosocial, behavioral or environmental factors are associated with adolescents who successfully manage their weight.

“We found that there were factors that helped predict obesity remission,” said Dr. Allison Watts, University of Minnesota School of Public Health post-doctoral fellow and lead author of the study. “Remission in this instance is when these adolescents were no longer classified as having obesity as young adults.”

The study revealed specific nutrition and activity-related behaviors that helped adolescents transition out of obesity. The behavioral changes that predicted obesity remission were:

Furthermore, adolescents with obesity who changed their exposure to unhealthy foods at home were also more likely to transition out of obesity. The environmental changes that predicted obesity remission were:

Dr. Watts noted encouraging successful weight management for adolescents and young adults requires more effective policies and programs that help support healthful behaviors, such as policies that shape healthier food and physical activity environments.