A Streamlined Weight Loss Program for Moderately Retarded Adults in a Sheltered Workshop Setting

Document Type




Format of Original

11 p.

Publication Date




Source Publication

Applied Research in Mental Retardation

Source ISSN



An abbreviated version of a behavioral weight loss program for obese retarded adults was provided for two groups of eight moderately retarded, obese adults working in a sheltered workshop. The program involved ten weeks of treatment, five weeks of maintenance and included a one-year follow-up check. Pictured materials were developed to facilitate the subject's comprehension and practice of the behavioral weight loss strategies. Subjects in one treatment group were also paired to assess the impact of a buddy reinforcement program on their weight loss. Following ten weeks of treatment, significant weight loss was observed (mean percent weight loss = 6.2); weight loss continued during five weeks of maintenance (additional mean percent weight loss = 1.8). No differences in weight loss or percent weight loss were found between the buddy reinforcement group and the other treatment group at the end of treatment or maintenance and during follow-up. At one year follow-up, 37.5% of the sample maintained a weight loss. Discussion centers around the issues of developing efficient weight loss strategies for obese retarded adults, high inter-individual variability observed in weight loss during treatment, and relatively low long-term maintenance of weight loss after treatment terminated.


Applied Research in Mental Retardation, Vol. 5, No. 1 (January 1984): 69-79. DOI.