Indicator for Success of Obesity Reduction Programs in Adolescents: Body Composition or Body Mass Index? Evaluating a School‑based Health Promotion Project after 12 Weeks of Intervention

Naser Kalantari, Nastaran Keshavarz Mohammadi, Shahram Rafeifar, Hassan Eini‑Zinab, Atefeh Aminifard, Hanieh Malmir, Narjes Ashoori, Sheyda Abdi, Maryam Gholamalizadeh, Saeid Doaei


Background: Obesity in adolescence is the strongest risk factor for obesity in adulthood. This study aimed to evaluate the effects of a comprehensive lifestyle intervention on different anthropometric indices in 12–16‑year‑old boy adolescents after 12 Weeks of Intervention.

Methods: A total of 96 male adolescents from two schools participated in this study. The schools were randomly assigned to intervention (53 students) and control school (43 students). Height and weight of students were measured and their body mass index (BMI) was calculated. Body fat percent (BF) and body muscle percent (BM) was assessed using a bioimpedance analyzer considering the age, gender, and height of students at baseline and after intervention. The obesity reduction intervention was implemented in the intervention school based on the Ottawa charter for health promotion.

Results: Twelve weeks of intervention decreased BF percent in the intervention group in comparison with the control group (decreased by 1.81% in the intervention group and increased by 0.39% in the control group, P < 0.01). However, weight, BMI, and BM did not change signifcantly. Conclusions: The result of this study showed that a comprehensive lifestyle intervention decreased the body fat percent in obese adolescents, although these changes was not reflected in the BMI. It is possible that BMI is not a good indicator in assessment of the success of obesity management intervention.

Keywords: Adolescence obesity, BMI, body composition, lifestyle intervention

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