Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2016 Nov 08;13(11):
High-intensity interval training (HIIT) consists of short intervals of exercise at high intensity intermitted by intervals of lower intensity and is associated with improvement of body composition and metabolic health in adults. Studies in overweight adolescents are scarce. We conducted a randomized controlled trial in overweight adolescents to compare acceptance and attendance of HIIT with or without weekly motivational encouragement through text messages and access to a study website. HIIT was offered for six months (including summer vacation) twice a week (60 min/session). Participation rates were continuously assessed and acceptance was measured. Clinical parameters were assessed at baseline and after six months. Twenty-eight adolescents participated in this study (age 15.5 ± 1.4; 54% female). The standard deviation score for body mass index over all participants was 2.33 at baseline and decreased by 0.026 (95% CI -0.048 to 0.10) units, p = 0.49. Waist to height ratio was 0.596 at baseline and decreased by 0.013 (95% CI 0.0025 to 0.024), p = 0.023. Participation within the first two months ranged from 65% to 75%, but fell to 15% within the last three months. Attendance in the intervention group was 14% (95% CI -8 to 37), p = 0.18, higher than the control group. Overall program content was rated as "good" by participants, although high drop-out rates were observed. Summer months constitute a serious problem regarding attendance. The use of media support has to be assessed further in appropriately powered trials.