Researchers discussed the behavioral prevention of obesity in bipolar disorder. They indicated that being overweight with a BMI greater than 30 is associated with a variety of poorer outcomes. Such as severe bipolar illness, more hospitalizations and suicide attempts, poor quality of life, and more substance use in children with bipolar disorder.

Many of the atypical antipsychotics are associated with rapid onset in weight gain and that this requires systematic intervention. Researchers found that cognitive behavior therapy and motivational interviewing about healthy behaviors for life are helpful in the treatment.

These included, focuses on good nutrition, physical activity, decreases in sedentary behavior. They also discussed the importance of prevention using motivational interviewing techniques. These techniques have proven useful in bringing about good treatment outcome in diabetes, dental disease, reproductive health, and substance abuse.

The 4 major components of motivational interviewing are expressing empathy, the development and clarification of discrepancies, accepting the child’s resistance, and support of self-efficacy. The program emphasizes 5 different strategies. The first strategy was personalized feedback.

The second component was dealing with the “big 5”. The third component was evaluation of readiness for change and dealing with the child’s ambivalence. The fourth component was developing a plan for change. The fifth approach was to evaluate the change plan and proceed accordingly. This would involve problem-solving, trouble shooting and anticipating future challenges, and increasing motivation for sustaining behavioral changes. By Ammara Hashmi