Weight-dependent disparities in adolescent girls: The impact of a brief pilot intervention on exercise and healthy eater identity

Eydie N. Kramer, Christine A. Chard, Kellie Walters, Daheia J. Barr-Anderson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Adolescent girls report low participation in healthy behaviors (e.g., nutritious eating and exercise), and are disproportionately affected by obesity. Short-term interventions, such as behavioral summer camps, may positively influence psychological underpinnings of healthy behavior, particularly exercise identity (EI) and healthy eater identity (HEI). The present study investigates disparities and changes in identity and subsequent health behavior in two cohorts of adolescent girls following a brief, multicomponent intervention. A sample of normal-weight adolescent girls from a health promotion camp and an elevated body mass index (BMI) sample from an obesity treatment camp participated in the study. Both camps ran one-week in duration and delivered comparable intervention components. All families were given access to the same eight-week eHealth program post-camp. Significant EI and HEI role-identity disparities between the health promotion and obesity treatment cohorts were apparent at baseline. Following the one-week camp intervention, EI and HEI scores increased in both groups. At follow-up, the treatment group had increased EI and HEI role-identities in such that the groups no longer significantly differed. Positive changes in health behaviors were experienced in each group. This pilot study demonstrates that EI and HEI differ between normal-weight and obese adolescent girls and weight-dependent identity disparities may be mitigated following brief, multicomponent interventions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1411
JournalInternational journal of environmental research and public health
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 4 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding: This research was funded by the Roger W. and Ann T. Drinkwalter Fellowship for Nutrition Research, a departmental scholarship awarded by the School of Kinesiology, University of Minnesota.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


  • Adolescents
  • Diet
  • Health behavior
  • Health disparities
  • Identity
  • Obesity
  • Physical activity


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