Factors associated with choice of behavioural weight loss program by adults with obesity

Clin Obes. 2023 Aug;13(4):e12591. doi: 10.1111/cob.12591. Epub 2023 Apr 11.


We assessed the preference for two behavioural weight loss programs, Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) and Healthy Weight for Living (HWL) in adults with obesity. A cross-sectional survey was fielded on the Amazon Mechanical Turk. Eligibility criteria included reporting BMI ≥30 and at least two chronic health conditions. Participants read about the programs, selected their preferred program, and answered follow-up questions. The estimated probability of choosing either program was not significantly different from .5 (N = 1005, 50.8% DPP and 49.2% HWL, p = .61). Participants' expectations about adherence, weight loss magnitude, and dropout likelihood were associated with their choice (p < .0001). Non-White participants (p = .040) and those with monthly income greater than $4999 (p = .002) were less likely to choose DPP. Participants who had postgraduate education (p = .007), did not report high serum cholesterol (p = .028), and reported not having tried losing weight before (p = .025) were more likely to choose DPP. Those who chose HWL were marginally more likely to report that being offered two different programs rather than one would likely affect their decision to enrol in one of the two (p = .052). The enrolment into DPP and HWL was balanced, but race, educational attainment, income, previous attempt to lose weight, and serum cholesterol levels had significant associations with the choice of weight loss program.

Keywords: behavioural intervention; obesity; preference; self-selection; weight loss.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Choice Behavior*
  • Cholesterol / blood
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Diabetes Mellitus / prevention & control
  • Educational Status
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Obesity* / prevention & control
  • Race Factors
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Weight Reduction Programs* / statistics & numerical data


  • Cholesterol