Objective: To identify the most important pretreatment characteristics and changes in psychological and behavioral factors that predict weight outcomes in the Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP).
Research design and methods: Approximately 25% of DPP lifestyle intervention participants (n = 274) completed questionnaires to assess weight history and psychological and behavioral factors at baseline and 6 months after completion of the 16-session core curriculum. The change in variables from baseline to 6 months was assessed with t tests. Multivariate models using hierarchical logistic regression assessed the association of weight outcomes at end of study with each demographic, weight loss history, psychological, and behavioral factor.
Results: At end of study, 40.5% had achieved the DPP 7% weight loss goal. Several baseline measures (older age, race, older age when first overweight, fewer self-implemented weight loss attempts, greater exercise self-efficacy, greater dietary restraint, fewer fat-related dietary behaviors, more sedentary activity level) were independent predictors of successful end-of-study weight loss with the DPP lifestyle program. The DPP core curriculum resulted in significant improvements in many psychological and behavioral targets. Changes in low-fat diet self-efficacy and dietary restraint skills predicted better long-term weight loss, and the association of low-fat diet self-efficacy with weight outcomes was explained by dietary behaviors.
Conclusions: Health care providers who translate the DPP lifestyle intervention should be aware of pretreatment characteristics that may hamper or enhance weight loss, consider prioritizing strategies to improve low-fat diet self-efficacy and dietary restraint skills, and examine whether taking these actions improves weight loss outcomes.
Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00004992.