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ORIGINAL RESEARCH

Randomized Controlled Trial Targeting Obesity-Related Behaviors: Better Together Healthy Caswell County

A total of 102 people expressed interest in the Better Together Healthy Caswell County intervention, and all were determined to be eligible after screening. Of the 102, we excluded 8 because they failed to attend their scheduled baseline appointment, 2 because they failed to agree to consent conditions, and 1 because she consented but did not complete the baseline assessment. We assigned 44 people to group 1 and 47 to group 2. Group 1 had twice-weekly access to group fitness classes and weekly nutrition and physical activity education sessions; Group 2 had twice-weekly access only to group fitness classes. Of the participants assigned to group 1, 8 attended no group fitness sessions, 11 attended 1 to 7 sessions, 9 attended 8 to 13 sessions, 5 attended 14 to 20 sessions, and 11 attended 21 to 28 sessions. Group 1 participants were also offered Eat Smart, Move More, Weigh Less (ESMMWL) sessions; 10 attended no sessions; 8 attended 1 to 4 sessions; 6 attended 5 to 7 sessions; 3 attended 8 to 10 sessions; and 17 attended 11 to 14 sessions. Of the participants assigned to group 2, 18 attended no sessions; 14 attended 1 to 7 sessions; 2 attended 8 to 13 sessions; 7 attended 14 to 20 sessions; and 6 attended 21 to 28 sessions. After the program, 58 participants remained, 30 in group 1 and 28 in group 2. Two members of group 1 actively quit the study, and 12 were lost to follow-up. Two members of group 2 also actively quit, and 17 were lost to follow-up.

Figure 1. Recruitment, screening, and participation in Better Together Healthy Caswell County, North Carolina, 2011.

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Weight change differed significantly by percentage of sessions attended. For group 1, those who attended 50% or more of the education and fitness sessions had greater decreases in weight than did those who attended less than 50% of the sessions, P < .001. For group 2, effects were not significant by group fitness attendance.

Figure 2. Weight change by attendance at group education sessions and group fitness sessions (N = 91), Better Together Healthy Caswell County, North Carolina, 2011.

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Waist circumference differed significantly by education attendance (F = 11.6, P < .001) and fitness attendance (F = 5.8, P = .02) (Figure 3). For group 1, those who attended more than 50% of the sessions had greater reduction in waist circumference. For group 2, effects were not significant by group fitness attendance.

Figure 3. Change in waist circumference by attendance at group education sessions and group fitness sessions (N = 91), Better Together Healthy Caswell County, North Carolina, 2011.

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