The 'Golden Keys' to health - A healthy lifestyle intervention with randomized individual mentorship for overweight and obesity in adolescents

James G. Wengle, Jill K. Hamilton, Cedric Manlhiot, Timothy J. Bradley, Debra K. Katzman, Renee Sananes, Khosrow Adeli, Catherine S. Birken, Arvin A. Abadilla, Brian W. McCrindle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE: To conduct a pilot study designed to measure the impact of a healthy lifestyle intervention with or without individualized mentorship on adiposity, metabolic profile, nutrition and physical activity in overweight teens. METHODS: A total of 38 overweight adolescents (body mass index above the 85th percentile) 12 to 16 years of age, who were enrolled in a healthy lifestyle intervention program for six months, were randomly assigned to a nonmentored or individualized mentored intervention. RESULTS: For the entire cohort (final n=32), there was a nonstatistically significant reduction in mean (± SD) body mass index z score (2.08±0.38 to 2.01±0.47, P=0.07) and waist circumference (98±10 cm to 96±11 cm, P=0.08), and significant improvements in high-density lipoprotein level (1.08±0.24 mmol/L to 1.20±0.26 mmol/L, P<0.001), and low-density lipoprotein/high-density lipoprotein ratio (2.55±0.84 to 2.26±0.87, P<0.001) from baseline to the end of the intervention. Subjects consumed fewer high-calorie foods (3.9±1.9 to 3.0±1.5 servings/ day, P=0.01) and snacks (9.7±5.5 to 6.8±4.0 servings/ day, P=0.02), made fewer fast food restaurant visits (1.4±1.3 to 0.8±0.9 visits/week, P=0.02), and had less screen time (8.3±3.8 to 6.9±3.6 h/day, P=0.01). In addition, mentorship was found to be a feasible approach to supporting weight management in obese teens. Our study was underpowered to determine treatment effect, but promising modifications to lifestyle were observed despite the absence of statistically significant improvements in outcomes. CONCLUSIONS: The healthy lifestyle intervention improved subjects'lifestyles and lipid profiles, and the addition of mentorship in this context is feasible. A larger study with a longer intervention time is required to determine whether behavioural changes are associated with clinical improvement and to determine the role of mentorship in promoting lifestyle change.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)473-478
Number of pages6
JournalPaediatrics and Child Health
Issue number8
StatePublished - Oct 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Adolescent
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Lifestyle intervention
  • Obesity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


Dive into the research topics of 'The 'Golden Keys' to health - A healthy lifestyle intervention with randomized individual mentorship for overweight and obesity in adolescents'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this