Participants' evaluation of a weight-loss program

J Am Diet Assoc. 1999 Jan;99(1):66-71. doi: 10.1016/S0002-8223(99)00018-8.


Objective: The purpose of this study was to evaluate participants' perceptions of the weight-loss intervention used in a hypertension prevention clinical trial.

Design: A total of 308 overweight and moderately obese subjects participated in the weight-management intervention. After the 18-month program, 281 participants completed a questionnaire designed to evaluate their perceptions of the program's effectiveness.

Subjects/setting: Adult participants (224 men and 84 women) in the weight-loss modality of the Trials of Hypertension Prevention Phase I, surveyed in 1991.

Statistical analyses performed: chi 2 Analyses were used to test for statistical significance of group differences.

Results: Intervention components that were most useful are presented. Older participants (older than 50 years) were most likely to attend sessions and women were most likely to identify stress and frustration because of disappointing results. Successful participants were more likely to incorporate exercise into their daily activities, exercise regularly, and use self-monitoring strategies. Few participants found group exercise to be useful.

Conclusion: These findings suggest that interventionists in weight-loss programs need to find flexible and creative ways to maintain contact with participants, continue to develop better methods of self-monitoring, obtain the skills needed to recognize frustration and provide timely support, continue to couple the message of diet and exercise, and emphasize helping participants develop their problem-solving skills. This may require training outside the traditional field of dietetics.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Behavior Therapy
  • Black or African American
  • Clinical Trials, Phase I as Topic
  • Diet, Reducing
  • Educational Status
  • Exercise
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / prevention & control*
  • Life Style
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Obesity / therapy*
  • Program Evaluation*
  • Psychotherapy, Group
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Sex Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • United States
  • Weight Loss*
  • White People