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Effectiveness of a brief behavioural intervention to prevent weight gain over the Christmas holiday period: randomised controlled trial

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posted on 19.12.2018 by Frances Mason, Amanda Farley, Miranda J. Pallan, Alice Sitch, Christina Easter, Amanda Daley
OBJECTIVE To test the effectiveness of a brief behavioural intervention to prevent weight gain over the Christmas holiday period. DESIGN Two group, double blinded randomised controlled trial. SETTING Recruitment from workplaces, social media platforms, and schools pre-Christmas 2016 and 2017 in Birmingham, UK. PARTICIPANTS 272 adults aged 18 years or more with a body mass index of 20 or more: 136 were randomised to a brief behavioural intervention and 136 to a leaflet on healthy living (comparator). Baseline assessments were conducted in November and December with follow-up assessments in January and February (4-8 weeks after baseline). INTERVENTIONS The intervention aimed to increase restraint of eating and drinking through regular self weighing and recording of weight and reflection on weight trajectory; providing information on good weight management strategies over the Christmas period; and pictorial information on the physical activity calorie equivalent (PACE) of regularly consumed festive foods and drinks. The goal was to gain no more than 0.5 kg of baseline weight. The comparator group received a leaflet on healthy living. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES The primary outcome was weight at follow-up. The primary analysis compared weight at follow-up between the intervention and comparator arms, adjusting for baseline weight and the stratification variable of attendance at a commercial weight loss programme. Secondary outcomes (recorded at followup) were: weight gain of 0.5 kg or less, self reported frequency of self weighing (at least twice weekly versus less than twice weekly), percentage body fat, and cognitive restraint of eating, emotional eating, and uncontrolled eating. RESULTS Mean weight change was −0.13 kg (95% confidence interval −0.4 to 0.15) in the intervention group and 0.37 kg (0.12 to 0.62) in the comparator group. The adjusted mean difference in weight (intervention− comparator) was −0.49 kg (95% confidence interval −0.85 to −0.13, P=0.008). The odds ratio for gaining no more than 0.5 kg was non-significant (1.22, 95% confidence interval 0.74 to 2.00, P=0.44). CONCLUSION A brief behavioural intervention involving regular self weighing, weight management advice, and information about the amount of physical activity required to expend the calories in festive foods and drinks prevented weight gain over the Christmas holiday period.

Funding

This work was independent research as part of a PhD studentship funded by the School of Medical and Dental Sciences at the University of Birmingham. This paper presents independent research supported by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Birmingham Biomedical Research Centre at the University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust and the NIHR Leicester Biomedical Research Centre.

History

School

  • Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences

Published in

BMJ

Pages

k4867 - k4867

Citation

MASON, F. ... et al., 2018. Effectiveness of a brief behavioural intervention to prevent weight gain over the Christmas holiday period: randomised controlled trial. BMJ, 363: k4867.

Publisher

BMJ

Version

VoR (Version of Record)

Publisher statement

This work is made available according to the conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 Unported (CC BY-NC 4.0) licence. Full details of this licence are available at: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/

Acceptance date

06/11/2018

Publication date

2018-12-10

Notes

This is an Open Access Article. It is published by BMJ under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 Unported (CC BY-NC 4.0) licence. Full details of this licence are available at: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/

ISSN

0959-8138

eISSN

1756-1833

Language

en

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