Effectiveness of an adapted physical activity intervention for weight management in adolescents with intellectual disability: A randomized controlled trial

Siyue Yu, Yang Gao (Corresponding Author), Aiwei Wang, Yan Sun, Jingjing Wang, Heather Hei Man Kwok, Shing Wu, Chi Kei Lam, Emma Dan Tao, Jojo Jiao Jiao, Shirley Siu Ming Fong, Yao Jie Xie, Dexing Zhang, Julian S Baker

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


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/m 2 (95% CI −1.06 to −0.25 kg/m 2, 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/m 2 [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.

Original languageEnglish
JournalPediatric obesity
Issue numbere12882
Publication statusPublished - 10 Jan 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Professions(all)

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