Behavioral Interventions for Preventing and Treating Obesity in Adults

  • Manoj Sharma
  • Melinda J. Ickes


The purpose of this chapter is to review obesity prevention and treatment interventions in adults done in the USA. The problem of overweight and obesity has reached epidemic proportions and has been recognized as a public health threat. Interventions that modify factors for obesity can be for prevention or treatment. Interventions for prevention and treatment of obesity can be behavioral, pharmacological, surgical, or environmental. Implementation of an intervention does not necessarily correspond to success, and therefore common components among successful interventions were examined. A total of 19 treatment interventions were found, with approaches including structured meal plans, dietary adherence, supervised exercise classes, use of supplements, self-weighing, social support, internet-based tutorials, behavioral counseling, individualized plans, and feedback. Fewer prevention interventions were found (n = 5) compared to the treatment interventions mentioned above. The focus was more on lifestyle changes, with topics such as increasing physical activity (PA) and meeting dietary recommendations. Providing individualized, theory-based interventions, which focused on both nutrition and PA behaviors, were connected to the success of the interventions. It was also critical to go beyond dissemination of knowledge and develop attitudes, skills, and behaviors to adopt and maintain these habits. Fewer prevention interventions existed among the adult population, and therefore, concerted efforts must be made to build and sustain both effective treatment and prevention interventions to target the issue of obesity.


Physical Activity Prevention Intervention Treatment Intervention Obesity Prevention Transtheoretical Model 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



American College of Sports Medicine


American Dietetic Association


Body Mass Index


Healthy Eating Index


Institute of Medicine


Physical Activity


Robert Wood Johnson Foundation


US Department of Agriculture


US Department of Health and Human Services


World Health Organization


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Health Promotion & EducationUniversity of CincinnatiCincinnatiUSA

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