Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

Conceptualisation and evaluation of a cognitive-behavioural training programme for children and adolescents with obesity


OBJECTIVE: Obesity is common in children and adolescents with incidence rates increasing both nationally and internationally. Its causes are complex and multifaceted, and obesity is associated with high morbidity and mortality as well as psychological distress. Multidimensional programmes are necessary in the treatment of this chronic disease in order to change eating and physical activity habits. A cognitive-behavioural training programme was developed and evaluated. In combination with diet and exercise, this special group programme that includes well established behavioural methods, was expected to result in long-term weight reduction and decrease of psychological distress in connection with obesity.

DESIGN: As part of the six week in-patient rehabilitation for children and adolescents at Viktoriastift in Bad Kreuznach, the three-part programme (experimental group, EG) was compared with a programme that differed only in the psychological intervention component (instead of the specific training programme they undertook muscle relaxation training, comparison group, CG).

SUBJECTS: In total, 197 children and adolescents between 9 and 19 y-of-age were recruited into the study.

MEASUREMENTS: Somatic (eg weight status), behavioural (eg eating behaviour) and psychological (eg quality of life) outcomes were assessed at five points in time: two weeks before the intervention, at the beginning and end of the programme, as well as six months and one year post-intervention. The study started in spring 1997. Main outcomes will be presented.

RESULTS: Pre- vs post-intervention-tests showed significant improvements in self-reported eating behaviours for the EG compared with the CG (F=6.38, P<0.05); these changes were independent of age and sex. The weight status measured as the percentage of overweight dependent on height was reduced in both groups immediately after the intervention and at follow-up (F=16.51, P<0.01). Reduction in the prevalence of obesity tended to be higher in the EG than in the CG (15% vs 10%). Self-reported quality of life increased from before the intervention to follow-up more in the EG than in the CG (F=3.27, P=0.08). In all, the acceptance of the behavioural patient education programme was good.

CONCLUSION: In summary, evaluation results indicate that the cognitive-behavioural training programme is a promising approach to alter obesity-related habits and to reduce somatic and psychosocial consequences. Long-term effects after two years are expected to underscore these results.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution

Relevant articles

Open Access articles citing this article.

Access options

Rent or buy this article

Get just this article for as long as you need it


Prices may be subject to local taxes which are calculated during checkout

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to P Warschburger.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Warschburger, P., Fromme, C., Petermann, F. et al. Conceptualisation and evaluation of a cognitive-behavioural training programme for children and adolescents with obesity. Int J Obes 25 (Suppl 1), S93–S95 (2001).

Download citation

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:


  • cognitive-behavioural training programme
  • children and adolescents
  • obesity
  • long-term evaluation
  • psychosocial factors

This article is cited by


Quick links