Evaluation of a university-based community outreach weight management program

Popul Health Manag. 2011 Aug;14(4):167-73. doi: 10.1089/pop.2010.0034. Epub 2011 Feb 15.


This study tested the effectiveness of a 6-month university-based community outreach weight management program for overweight/obese adults that utilized standard guidelines from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI). This article also provides practical observations for clinicians desirous to employ a similar program. Fifty-one overweight/obese (34.8 ± 6.6 kg/m(2)) middle-aged (46.6 ± 12.4 y) adults (42 females; 9 males) participated. Participants met weekly for 3 months to be weighed, to report weekly diet and physical activity (PA) data, and to receive instruction for weight management. Participants followed a self-selected dietary plan that included decreasing energy intake by ∼500-1000 kcal/d and consuming a combined 5 fruits and/or vegetables (FV) daily. Participants progressed to a minimum of 150 min of PA per week, wore a pedometer, and recorded daily step counts. Additionally, there was a 3-month follow-up during which participants met monthly but continued tracking FV, PA, and pedometer counts. Body weight decreased significantly (∼0.4-2.1 lbs per week; P < 0.01) during the first 3 months. Weight loss was maintained during the 3-month follow-up. Self-reported energy intake tended to increase during the first 3 months (P < 0.01). PA increased significantly (P < 0.05) beyond recommended minimums and pedometer counts increased significantly (P < 0.01). FV intake averaged below 5 per day and did not change across the study (P = 0.75). Standard treatment guidelines produce modest but consistent weight loss and improvements in PA. The NHLBI recommended approach to weight management is effective for a majority of participants and can be incorporated into a clinical program with relative ease.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Body Composition / physiology
  • Body Weight / physiology
  • Community-Institutional Relations*
  • Diet, Reducing
  • Exercise
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Obesity / therapy*
  • Overweight / therapy*
  • Risk Reduction Behavior
  • Universities
  • Weight Loss / physiology
  • Weight Reduction Programs / methods*