By Dr. Brian McDonough, Medical Editor

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Group meetings focused on improving diet, increasing physical activity and addressing mood and body image issues helped prevent heavy teen girls from gaining weight.

This is an important study because many have expressed concern that girls need to individually deal with weight issues to avoid potential problems with self image. But, according to the report from Children’s Hospital of Boston, there is a definite advantage to talking about diet issues in a healthy environment.

The most important point is that healthy diet and exercise need to be stressed, not weight loss. Although there are issues with obesity in this country and it needs to be addressed, we know that the focus should not be on the number of pounds but the health of the person.

The group sessions allow girls to have these important conversations.

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