Introduction: Hockey Fans in Training (Hockey FIT) is a gender-sensitized weight loss and healthy lifestyle program. We investigated 1) feasibility of recruiting and retaining overweight and obese men into a pilot pragmatic randomized controlled trial and 2) potential for Hockey FIT to lead to weight loss and improvements in other outcomes at 12 wk and 12 months.
Methods: Male fans of two ice hockey teams (35-65 yr; body mass index ≥28 kg·m) located in Ontario (Canada) were randomized to intervention (Hockey FIT) or comparator (wait-list control). Hockey FIT includes a 12-wk active phase (weekly, coach-led group meetings including provision of dietary information, practice of behavior change techniques, and safe exercise sessions plus incremental pedometer walking) and a 40-wk minimally supported phase (smartphone app for sustaining physical activity, private online social network, standardized e-mails, booster session/reunion). Measurement at baseline and 12 wk (both groups) and 12 months (intervention group only) included clinical outcomes (e.g., weight) and self-reported physical activity, diet, and self-rated health.
Results: Eighty men were recruited in 4 wk; trial retention was >80% at 12 wk and >75% at 12 months. At 12 wk, the intervention group lost 3.6 kg (95% confidence interval, -5.26 to -1.90 kg) more than the comparator group (P < 0.001) and maintained this weight loss to 12 months. The intervention group also demonstrated greater improvements in other clinical measures, physical activity, diet, and self-rated health at 12 wk; most sustained to 12 months.
Conclusions: Results suggest feasible recruitment/retention of overweight and obese men in the Hockey FIT program. Results provide evidence for the potential effectiveness of Hockey FIT for weight loss and improved health in at-risk men and, thus, evidence to proceed with a definitive trial.