Stress management-augmented behavioral weight loss intervention for African American women: a pilot, randomized controlled trial

Health Educ Behav. 2013 Feb;40(1):78-87. doi: 10.1177/1090198112439411. Epub 2012 Apr 13.


The relationship between chronic stress and weight management efforts may be a concern for African American (AA) women, who have a high prevalence of obesity, high stress levels, and modest response to obesity treatment. This pilot study randomly assigned 44 overweight/obese AA women with moderate to high stress levels to either a 12-week adaptation of the Diabetes Prevention Program Lifestyle Balance intervention augmented with stress management strategies (Lifestyle + Stress) or Lifestyle Alone. A trend toward greater percentage of baseline weight loss at 3-month data collection was observed in Lifestyle + Stress (-2.7 ± 3.6%) compared with Lifestyle Alone (-1.4 ± 2.3%; p = .17) and a greater reduction in salivary cortisol (Lifestyle + Stress: -0.2461 ± 0.3985 ng/mL; Lifestyle Alone: -0.0002 ± 0.6275 ng/mL; p = .20). These promising results suggest that augmenting a behavioral weight control intervention with stress management components may be beneficial for overweight/obese AA women with moderate to high stress levels and merit further investigation with an adequately powered trial.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Black or African American / psychology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hydrocortisone / analysis
  • Obesity / psychology
  • Obesity / therapy
  • Patient Compliance
  • Pilot Projects
  • Psychological Tests
  • Risk Reduction Behavior
  • Saliva / chemistry
  • Stress, Psychological / therapy*
  • Weight Loss
  • Weight Reduction Programs / methods*


  • Hydrocortisone