Objective: To evaluate the effectiveness of a 9-month school-based adapted physical activity (APA) program for reducing weight among adolescents with intellectual disability (ID).
Methods: In this randomized controlled trial, adolescents with ID, aged 12–18 years, who were overweight/or with obesity were randomly assigned into intervention and control groups. The APA intervention consisted of aerobic and resistance exercises with an overall moderate intensity and was delivered at a frequency of two sessions per week for 9 months. Changes in body mass index (BMI, primary outcome) and changes in BMIz, weight, percent body fat, waist circumference and waist-to-height ratio (secondary outcomes) were examined using general linear models.
Results: In total 61 subjects (39 in the intervention and 22 in the control) completed the study and were included in the analyses. At 9 months, the intervention group exhibited a reduced BMI of −0.66 kg/m2 (95% CI −1.06 to −0.25 kg/m2, p = 0.002), while a significant increase in BMI was observed in the control group. A significant post-intervention between-group difference in change in BMI (−1.31 kg/m2 [95% CI −1.99 to −0.63], p < 0.01) was found in favour of the intervention group. Similar results were also observed for all secondary outcomes.
Conclusions: This study provides evidence that a 9-month APA intervention induced clinically meaningful effects on weight loss in adolescents with ID.
Scopus Subject Areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Health Policy
- Nutrition and Dietetics
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- childhood obesity
- intellectual disability
- physical activity intervention
- randomized controlled study
- weight management