Excess weight gain is common when adolescents become young adults, but there are no obesity prevention or weight management interventions that have been tested for emerging adults who follow non-traditional post-secondary paths, such as enrolling in job training programs. We evaluated Healthy Eating & Active Lifestyles (HEALs), a policy-mandated lifestyle education/environmental modification program, at a job training center for low-income 16–24 year olds. We examined average change in body mass index (BMI) z-score from baseline to 6 months for emerging adults (aged 16–24 years) in pre-HEALs implementation (n = 125) and post-HEALs implementation (n = 126) cohorts living at the job training center, by baseline weight status. In both cohorts, average BMI z-score significantly increased from baseline to 6 months for students with BMI < 25. Average BMI z-score significantly decreased for the overweight (BMI 25 to <30; −0.11, p =.03) and obese (BMI ≥ 30; −0.11, p =.001) students only within the post-HEALs cohort; changes within the pre-HEALs cohort and between cohorts were not significant. HEALs may promote positive weight-related trends for overweight/obese students, but prevention efforts for non-overweight/obese students need to be improved.
- School health services
- Young adult
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Health(social science)
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health