Impact of age and race on outcomes of a program to prevent excess weight gain and disordered eating in adolescent girls

Natasha L. Burke, Lauren B. Shomaker, Sheila Brady, James C. Reynolds, Jami F. Young, Denise E. Wilfley, Tracy Sbrocco, Mark Stephens, Cara H. Olsen, Jack A. Yanovski, Marian Tanofsky-Kraff*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Interpersonal psychotherapy (IPT) prevents weight gain and reduces loss-of-control (LOC)-eating in adults. However, IPT was not superior to health-education (HE) for preventing excess weight gain and reducing LOC-eating over 1-year in adolescent girls at risk for excess weight gain and eating disorders. Limited data suggest that older and non-White youth may be especially responsive to IPT. In secondary analyses, we examined if age or race moderated weight and LOC-eating outcomes. The 113 participants (12–17 years; 56.6% White) from the original trial were re-contacted 3 years later for assessment. At baseline and follow-up visits through 3 years, we assessed BMI, adiposity by dual energy X-ray absorptiometry, and LOC-eating presence. In linear mixed models, baseline age moderated 3-year BMI outcome; older girls in IPT had the lowest 3-year BMI gain compared to younger girls in IPT and all girls in HE, p = 0.04. A similar pattern was observed for adiposity. Race moderated 3-year LOC-eating; non-White girls in IPT were most likely to abstain from LOC-eating at 3 years compared to all other girls, p = 0.04. This hypothesis-generating analysis suggests future studies should determine if IPT is especially efficacious at reducing LOC-eating in older, non-White adolescents.

Original languageEnglish
Article number947
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Adiposity
  • Adolescent
  • Age
  • BMI
  • Interpersonal psychotherapy
  • Loss-of-control eating
  • Obesity
  • Race


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