Dietary Consumption among Youth with Antipsychotic-Induced Weight Gain and Changes following Healthy Lifestyle Education

Kristin Bussell, Gloria Reeves, Erin Hager, Shijun Zhu, Christoph U. Correll, Mark A. Riddle, Linmarie Sikich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Youth treated with antipsychotic medications are high risk for weight gain, increased lipids/glucose, and development of metabolic syndrome. Little is known about the dietary intake/nutritional adequacy in this vulnerable population, and effect on weight gain. This secondary data analysis describes the baseline intake and changes in diet after receiving healthy lifestyle education/counseling over 6 months, in a sample of youth with antipsychotic-induced weight gain. Methods: The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Automated Multiple-Pass Method 24-hour dietary recall was administered to 117 youth at baseline, 3 months, and 6 months. Parent/child received personalized healthy lifestyle education sessions over 6 months. Baseline intake was compared with the USDA Recommended Daily Allowance using independent samples t-tests. Individual dietary covariates were examined for change over 6 months using longitudinal linear mixed modeling. Influence of each on body mass index (BMI) z-score change was tested in a pooled group analysis and then compared by treatment group. Results: Pooled analysis revealed baseline consumption high in carbohydrates, fat, protein, sugar, and refined grains, while low in fruit/vegetables, whole grains, fiber, and water. Change over 6 months demonstrated a statistically significant decrease in daily calories (p = 0.002), carbohydrates (p = 0.003), fat (p = 0.012), protein (p = 0.025), sugar (p = 0.008), refined grains (p = 0.008), total dairy (p = 0.049), and cheese (p = 0.027). Small increases in fruits/vegetables were not statistically significant, although the Healthy Eating Index subscores for total vegetables (p = 0.013) and dark green/orange vegetables (p = 0.034) were. No dietary covariates were predictors of change in BMI z-score. Nondietary predictors were parent weight/BMI and treatment group, with the metformin and switch groups experiencing significant decreases in BMI z-score. Conclusions: Further pediatric studies are necessary to assess the effects of antipsychotic medications on dietary intake, and test efficacy of healthy lifestyle interventions on change in nutrition. The relationship of nutrition to cardiometabolic health in this population must be further investigated. Clinical Trial Registration number: NCT 02877823.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)364-375
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of child and adolescent psychopharmacology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jun 2021


  • dietary intake/nutrition
  • pediatric antipsychotic treatment
  • weight loss

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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