Background

TRF is a dietary approach that confines daily calorie intake to a specific timeframe. Efficacy of TRF has been demonstrated in adults, but it remains untested in youth. This study assessed the acceptability of TRF among adolescents with obesity, and evaluated the role patient characteristics and behaviors play in acceptability.

Methods

A survey was developed by pediatric weight management programs in the COMPASS (Childhood Obesity Multi-Program Analysis and Study System) network, which included patient characteristics, current diet and sleep schedules, and interests in trying TRF with eating limited to 12h/d, 10h/d, and 8h/d. The survey was administered to parents and youth aged ≥11 years with obesity at five COMPASS sites. Age- and sex-specific BMI percentiles were calculated, and weight status was categorized as obesity (class 1) or severe obesity (class 2 or 3).

Results

A total of 159 eligible parent/youth dyads completed the survey. Patients were 13.8 (SD: 1.9) years old, 57% female, 21% black, 54% white, 16% Hispanic, 9% other/multiracial, and 24%, 34%, and 42% had obesity class 1, 2, or 3, respectively.Parent-reported interest in TRF on weekdays across 12h/d, 10h/d, and 8h/d were 62.9%, 37.2%, and 25.2%, respectively, and did not differ from youth-reported interest (58.7%, 34.5%, and 24.5%, respectively). Parent/child agreement in TRF interest ranged from 64.1% to 74.1% (Cohen’s kappa: 0.22-0.32) across 8-12h/d TRF. There were no associations between patient weight status, timing of eating and sleeping behaviors, and interest in TRF.

Conclusions

The majority of adolescents presenting for weight management indicate interest in a 12-hour TRF diet plan, but interest wanes as the number of available hours for eating decreases. Patients and their parents show similar rates of interest in TRF, overall; however, agreement among individual dyads is relatively low, suggesting both parent and adolescent input are necessary to help guide clinicians in developing optimal family eating plans.