To evaluate the effectiveness of a 9-month school-based adapted physical activity (APA) program for reducing weight among adolescents with intellectual disability (ID).
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.
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.
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