Weight loss of black, white, and Hispanic men and women in the Diabetes Prevention Program

Obesity (Silver Spring). 2008 Jun;16(6):1413-20. doi: 10.1038/oby.2008.224. Epub 2008 Apr 10.


Objective: To provide the specific weight loss outcomes for African-American, Hispanic, and white men and women in the lifestyle and metformin treatment arms of the Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) by race-gender group to facilitate researchers translating similar interventions to minority populations, as well as provide realistic weight loss expectations for clinicians.

Methods and procedures: Secondary analyses of weight loss of 2,921 overweight participants (22% black; 17% Hispanic; 61% white; and 68% women) with impaired glucose tolerance randomized in the DPP to intensive lifestyle modification, metformin or placebo. Data over a 30-month period are examined for comparability across treatment arms by race and gender.

Results: Within lifestyle treatment, all race-gender groups lost comparable amounts of weight with the exception of black women who exhibited significantly smaller weight losses (P < 0.01). For example, at 12 months, weight losses for white men (-8.4%), white women (-8.1%), Hispanic men (-7.8%), Hispanic women (-7.1%), and black men (-7.1%) were similar and significantly higher than black women (-4.5%). In contrast, within metformin treatment, all race-gender groups including black women lost similar amounts of weight. Race-gender specific mean weight loss data are provided by treatment arm for each follow-up period.

Discussion: Diminished weight losses were apparent among black women in comparison with other race-gender groups in a lifestyle intervention but not metformin, underscoring the critical nature of examining sociocultural and environmental contributors to successful lifestyle intervention for black women.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • African Americans*
  • Aged
  • Continental Population Groups
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / drug therapy
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / ethnology*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / prevention & control*
  • European Continental Ancestry Group*
  • Female
  • Hispanic Americans*
  • Humans
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Life Style / ethnology
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Metformin / therapeutic use
  • Middle Aged
  • Sex Factors
  • Treatment Outcome
  • United States
  • Weight Loss*


  • Hypoglycemic Agents
  • Metformin