Effects of a community-based health and fitness program on weight, body composition, and chronic disease risk factors: A pilot study



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Nearly two-thirds of Unites States adults are overweight or obese and approximately 15 million Americans are obese. Communities are responding by implementing team-based strategies to encourage weight loss and physical activity among local individuals. Purpose: To determine the efficacy of GET FiT Lubbock, an 8-week team- and community-based intervention on changes in body weight, body composition and chronic disease risk factors in adults. Methods:
A total of 173 adults enrolled in the 8-week weight loss intervention and 32 adults (8 males and 24 females; mean age of 45±2.4 years; mean BMI of 31±1.2 kg/m2) completed pre- and post-intervention measurements. For the intervention, participants formed teams of four individuals. Teams then competed against one another to accrue as many points as possible. Points were awarded for minutes of self-reported exercise and attending nutrition and fitness lectures as well as community events. Pre-intervention measurements, which were taken 1 week prior to the start of the intervention, included height, weight, BMI, body fat percentage, waist circumference, hip circumference, waist-to-hip ratio, fasting blood glucose, total cholesterol, high density lipoprotein cholesterol, systolic and diastolic blood pressure. One week after the conclusion of the 8-week intervention, the same measurements were taken again. Minutes of exercise were self-reported weekly to research personnel. Results: The 8-week intervention resulted in significant decreases in body weight (-1.66 ±0.5kg, p<0.01), BMI (-0.6 ±0.2, p<0.01), waist circumference (-3.0 ±0.6cm, p<0.001), hip circumference (-2.9 ±0.5cm, p<0.001), total cholesterol (-6.9 ±2.5mg/dL, p<0.01), and systolic blood pressure (-3.8 ±1.8mmHg, p<0.05). Conversely, HDL cholesterol and fasting blood glucose significantly increased (3.8 ±1.3mg/dL, p<0.01 and 3.94 ±1.5mg/dL, p<0.05, respectively). There were no changes in diastolic blood pressure. Males significantly lost more body fat percentage than females (-3.65 ±0.5% vs. 0.14 ±0.4%), which proved to be the only significant gender difference for the change in each variable. Further, there were no significant changes in outcome variables when analyzed by initial BMI category. Conclusion: These findings suggest that the GET FiT Lubbock program can produce modest weight loss and improve chronic disease risk factors. Although more data are needed regarding gender and BMI group differences, this study provides a point of reference for future team- and community-based exercise and health campaigns.



Weight loss, Intervention, Exercise, Nutrition