Family support is associated with success in achieving weight loss in a group lifestyle intervention for diabetes prevention in Arab Americans

Ethn Dis. Autumn 2011;21(4):480-4.


Objective: We have recently shown the feasibility of a community-based, culturally-specific, Diabetes Prevention Program-adapted, goal-oriented group lifestyle intervention targeting weight loss in Arab Americans. The objective of this study was to examine factors associated with weight-loss goal attainment at 24-weeks of the lifestyle intervention.

Methods: We assessed the relationship among demographic, psychosocial, and behavioral measures and the attainment of > or =7% decrease of initial body weight among 71 lifestyle intervention participants.

Results: Weight loss goal of > or = 7% of body weight was achieved by 44% of study participants. Demographic and psychosocial factors were not associated with weight loss. Individuals attaining the weight loss goal were more likely to have family support during the core curriculum sessions (70% vs 30%; P=.0023). Decrease in body weight was positively correlated with attendance at sessions (r=.46; P=.0016) and physical activity minutes (r=.66; P<.0001) and negatively correlated with reported caloric intake (r=-.49; P=.0023), fat intake (r=-.52; P=.0010), and saturated fat intake (r=-.39; P=.0175) in women; these trends were similar but not significant in men.

Conclusions: Family support was an important predictor of attainment of the weight loss goal. Family-centered lifestyle interventions are likely to succeed in curtailing the rising epidemic of diabetes in the Arab-American Community.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Body Mass Index
  • Diabetes Mellitus / ethnology
  • Diabetes Mellitus / prevention & control*
  • Family Relations*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Iraq / ethnology
  • Lebanon / ethnology
  • Life Style / ethnology
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Sex Factors
  • Social Support
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • United States
  • Weight Loss / ethnology*