Abstract

Methods: We created survey items to identify participant interest in three specifictypes of weight control programmes: a free programme led by successful peers, a paidprogramme led by successful peers and a programme led by trained paid professionals.Statistical analysis was conducted in 2011. Logistic regression was used to adjust forthe effect of potential confounders on participant interest in different weight controlprogrammes and willingness to volunteer.

Results: More than three times as many subjects (27.4% vs. 8.3%) were interestedin the free peer-led programme versus the expert-led paid option. Of participantswho had ever had successful weight loss, 15% were interested in volunteering to helpothers lose weight.

Conclusions: Individuals appear to be willing to both attend and conduct peervolunteer-led weight control groups. Further research is necessary to develop andtest interventions to assess the effectiveness of such interventions.

Objectives: As the prevalence of obesity in US adults continues to increase, addressing weight control will require an effective, lower-cost intervention. A model for delivering free peer-to-peer counselling has the potential to create a paradigm shift in the way weight and other chronic illnesses are addressed in the US. The objective of this study is to understand the potential for utilising successful peer vol-unteers as counsellors in weight control programmes and as a possible intervention strategy to address the global obesity epidemic in a cost-effective manner. Study design: This cross-sectional study surveyed a nationwide panel of US adults (n = 806) in 2010. copy; 2014 Asian Oceanian Association for the Study of Obesity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e488-e496
JournalObesity Research and Clinical Practice
Volume8
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Nutrition and Dietetics

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