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 Weight Control in Pre-Hypertensve Adolescents

This study suggests that TM practice slowed weight gains in African American adolescents at-risk for essential hypertension.

Barnes VA, Johnson MH, Treiber FA. Effect of Transcendental Meditation® on weight control in African American adolescents. Paper presented at: Society of Behavioral Medicine Annual Meeting April 22-25, 2009, 2009; Montreal, Canada.

This study of adolescents with high-normal blood pressure found that over an eight-month period the TM group (n = 30) gained significantly less weight and body mass index (BMI) than the health-education control (CTL) group (n = 32).  This study and the one on left ventricular mass are further analyses of a previously published randomized controlled trial (Barnes VA, Johnson MH, Treiber FA. Impact of Transcendental Meditation on ambulatory blood pressure in African American adolescents. American Journal Hypertension. 2004;17(4):366-369.)

 Truth BMI Banes


Background: Adolescent overweight is an important public health concern. There is an urgent need to initiate prevention and treatment of obesity in adolescents.

Methods: In a larger study evaluating the impact of the Transcendental Meditation® (TM) program in prehypertensive African American (AA) adolescents, 156 were randomly assigned to either 4-month TM or health education (CTL) groups. The TM group engaged in 15-min sessions at home and at school each day for 4 months. A follow-up evaluation was conducted after 4 months. In a sub-study on left ventricular mass, 62 subjects (30 TM; 32 CTL, age 15.9±1.3 years) were evaluated on BMI (mean=27.1±6.5) and body weight (mean=79.8±22 kg).

Results: There were significant group by time interactions over the entire study for body weight and BMI (p=0.012 and p=0.004, respectively). The TM group exhibited a slight increase in body weight and a slight decrease in BMI at 4 months post-test, compared to increases in the CTL group (0.53 vs. 3.23 kg and -.05 vs. 0.91, for TM vs CTL respectively, p<.005). At 4 months follow-up, the TM group exhibited smaller increases in body weight and in BMI, compared to the CTL group (1.47 vs 3.80 kg and 0.20 vs. 1.07, for TM vs CTL respectively, ps<.05).

Conclusion: These findings suggest that TM practice in this sub-sample slowed weight gains in African American adolescents at-risk for essential hypertension.

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