Efficacy of three eight-week lifestyle interventions on weight loss and cardiovascular disease risk factors in obese adults

Walsh, Sarah
Major Professor
Gregory J. Welk
Committee Member
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There is little consensus on the most effective approach to promote weight loss and weight maintenance. Guided weight loss programs utilizing motivational interviewing (MI) have shown positive results for weight loss but they can be time consuming and expensive. New self-monitoring devices such as the SenseWear Pro mini-fly Armband (SWA) may provide alternative approaches for facilitated weight loss. The primary purpose of this study was to determine the relative effectiveness of a guided weight loss program (Bon), the SWA monitor with associated weight management system (SWA), or a combination of both strategies (Bon + SWA) on weight loss and clinical risk factor change.

Seventy-eight obese adults (31 male and 47 female) were enrolled in the study and randomized to one of the three conditions. The 8-week intervention consisted of either weekly health coach meetings in conjunction with a behavior change curriculum (BonSanty), utilization of the SWA monitor with minimal health coaching, or a combination of weekly meetings and SWA. Changes in weight and clinical risk factors (blood pressure, fasting glucose, total cholesterol, HDL, LDL, and triglyceride concentrations) were assessed using multivariate ANOVAs. Results indicate that there was a significant weight reduction seen in all three conditions (-4.21 + 3.08 kg; p< 0.0001); however, there was no significant difference across conditions. There were general tendencies for larger effects in the group that received the combination of programs. Secondary analyses revealed that change in risk factors were proportional to the degree of weight loss (r=0.40); however, there was evidence that some risk factor change may occur independently of weight loss.

The results suggest that a self-monitoring device may be as beneficial as a guided intervention to facilitate weight loss and behavior change. Positive changes in risk factors can occur without a decrease in weight, but these changes are associated with the magnitude of weight reduction. Follow-up analyses of this sample will provide insights about the impact of these intervention approaches on maintenance of effects.