Primary Care-Based Health Coaching Intervention for Weight Loss in Overweight/Obese Adults: A 2-Year Experience

Am J Lifestyle Med. 2017 Jun 19;13(4):405-413. doi: 10.1177/1559827617715218. eCollection 2019 Jul-Aug.


Background: Obesity is a major contributor to medical comorbidity and places a large economic burden on health care. This study examined the effectiveness of primary care-integrated health coaching for weight loss in overweight/obese patients. Participants/Methods: This observational clinical study with a retrospective comparison analysis was performed at an urban academic primary care practice. A total of 271 individuals with a BMI >25 kg/m2 were recruited and followed for 2 years. A standardized health coaching intervention was used to promote weight loss. The main outcome measures were weight loss as a percentage of initial body weight and proportion of patients with weight loss ≥5% initial body weight, controlling for relevant covariates. An activity-based cost assessment of health coaching for weight loss was also performed. Results: Health coaching was associated with a mean loss of 7.24% initial weight after 12 months (95% CI = 8.68 to 5.90) and 6.77% after 24 months (95% CI = 8.78 to 4.76). Coached patients were more likely to achieve ≥5% of initial weight loss at both 12 and 24 months (P < .001). Health coaching costs were $288.54 per participant over 1 year. Conclusions: Primary care-integrated health coaching was associated with statistically significant weight loss in overweight and obese adults.

Keywords: health coaching; obesity; primary care; telemedicine; telephone; weight loss.