Changes in lifestyle habits after counselling by nurse practitioners: 1-year results of the Groningen Overweight and Lifestyle study

Public Health Nutr. 2011 Jun;14(6):995-1000. doi: 10.1017/S1368980010003708. Epub 2011 Jan 28.


Objectives: The Groningen Overweight and Lifestyle (GOAL) study primarily aims at preventing weight gain by nurse practitioners (NP) guided by a standardized computerized software program. Since favourable changes in physical activity (PA) and diet may improve health independently of weight (loss), insight into effects on lifestyle habits is essential. We examined the 1-year effects of lifestyle counselling by NP on PA and diet, compared with usual care from the general practitioner (GP-UC).

Design: A randomized controlled trial.

Setting: Eleven general practice locations in the Netherlands.

Subjects: A total of 341 GOAL participants with overweight or obesity and either hypertension or dyslipidaemia, or both, who completed an FFQ and Short Questionnaire to Assess Health-Enhancing Physical Activity (SQUASH) at baseline and after 1 year.

Results: After 1 year, the NP group spent 33 min/week more on walking compared with the GP-UC group who spent -5 min/week on walking (P = 0.05). No significant differences were found between the NP and GP-UC groups on the percentage of persons complying with the PA guidelines. In both groups, nutrient intake changed in a favourable direction and participants complied more often with dietary guidelines, but without overall difference between the NP and GP-UC groups.

Conclusions: With the exception of an increase in walking (based on self-reported data) in the NP group, no intervention effects on PA and diet occurred. Positive changes in nutrient intake were seen in both groups.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Diet
  • Eating
  • Feeding Behavior*
  • Female
  • General Practitioners
  • Health Planning Guidelines
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / prevention & control
  • Life Style*
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Motor Activity
  • Netherlands
  • Nurse Practitioners*
  • Overweight / prevention & control*
  • Self Report
  • Surveys and Questionnaires*
  • Weight Gain
  • Weight Loss