August 6, 2012

A Family and Community Focused Lifestyle Program Prevents Weight Regain in Pacific Islanders: A Pilot Randomized Controlled Trial

Joseph Keawe‘aimoku Kaholokula, PhD; Marjorie K. Mau, MD;
Jimmy T. Efird, PhD; Anne Leake, PhD, APRN-Rx; Margaret West, MPH;
Donna-Marie Palakiko, RN, MS; Sheryl R. Yoshimura, RD;
B. Puni Kekauoha; Charles Rose; and Henry Gomes, MS

Health Education & Behavior

Preventing weight regain after the loss of excess weight is challenging for people, especially for ethnic minorities in the U.S. A 6-month weight loss maintenance intervention designed for Pacific Islanders, called the PILI Lifestyle Program (PLP), was compared with a 6-month standard behavioral weight loss maintenance program (SBP) in a pilot randomized controlled trial using a community-based participatory research (CBPR) approach. Adult Pacific Islanders (n=144) were randomly assigned to either PLP (n=72) or SBP (n=72), after completing a 3-month weight loss program. Successful weight maintenance was defined as a participants’ post-intervention weight change remaining ≤3% of their pre-intervention mean weight. Both PLP and SBP participants achieved significant weight loss maintenance (p≤0.05). Among participants who completed at least half of the prescribed sessions, PLP participants were 5.1-fold (95% CI=1.06–24; p=0.02) more likely to have maintained their initial weight loss than SBP participants. The pilot PLP shows promise as a lifestyle intervention to address the obesity-disparities of Pacific Islanders and thus warrants further investigation.

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