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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


Location: Children's Nutrition Research Center

Title: Minimal level of participation associated with significant weight loss in a commercially available weight loss program

item Johnston, Craig
item Rost, Stephanie
item Miller-kovach, Karen
item Moreno, Jennette
item Foreyt, John

Submitted to: Obesity Facts: The European Journal of Obesity
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/1/2013
Publication Date: 5/12/2013
Citation: Johnston, C.A., Rost, S., Miller-Kovach, K., Moreno, J.P., Foreyt, J.P. 2013. Minimal level of participation associated with significant weight loss in a commercially available weight loss program [abstract]. Obesity Facts: The European Journal of Obesity. 6(S1):191.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Weight loss has been associated with high levels of participation in interventions; however, less attention has been given to the minimal level of participation needed to reach clinically significant weight loss. This study examined the level of participation associated with a 5% or 10% weight loss in a community-based, intensive behavioural counselling program, Weight Watchers PointsPlus (WW), that included three modes of access (i.e., meeting attendance, WW website, and WW mobile application). A total of 292 participants were randomized to a WW (n=147) or a self-help condition (n=145). Measured heights and weights were obtained at baseline and 6 months, and weekly participation was measured by tracking the use of the three modes of access. In order to assess the impact of participation, only participants in the WW condition were included in the following analyses. Analyses showed that meeting attendance was the strongest predictor of weight outcomes (F Change = 52.8, p < .0001). In order to determine the minimal level of attendance associated with clinically significant weight loss, Receiver Operating Characteristic Curve analyses were conducted. Attending 13 or more and 15 or more out of a possible 24 weekly meetings significantly predicted the likelihood of achieving a weight loss of 5% and 10% (AUC=.806, p<.001, AUC=.826, p<.001, respectively). Attendance at slightly more than 50% of meetings was satisfactory to achieve at least a 5% weight loss. These results are important to help patients and treatment providers set realistic goals for participation in treatment.

Last Modified: 10/16/2017
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