Abstract MP51: Evaluating the Effectiveness of a Web-Based Intervention to Prevent Unhealthy Weight Gain in College Students
CHOICES was a randomized control trial evaluating a one-credit college course and a social-network website to reduce unhealthy weight gain in young adults. The primary outcome was relative change in BMI and weight status between conditions at the end of the 24-month intervention. The study sample was 441 young adults attending 3 2-year colleges in the Twin Cities of Minnesota. At baseline the mean age of the sample was 22.8 and the sample was approximately 68% female, 73% white, and 71% lower income (income less than $12,000). At baseline 47% of the sample was overweight or obese with a mean BMI of 25.4. Students were randomized after baseline data were collected into one of two conditions. Students in the intervention condition took a one credit class focusing on weight gain prevention behaviors and were invited to participate in a social networking website designed to help individuals track and learn about weight related health behaviors and network with each other for support. The retention rate of participants at the final data collection period (24 months) was 83.4%. Adjusting for age, gender, race and education, there were no statistically significant differences in BMI between study conditions at 24 months (26.13: intervention and 26.09: control). However, the proportion of students that were overweight and obese was significantly smaller in the intervention condition (47%) as compared to the control condition (55%) at the 24-month period. Analyses also examined the extent to which participants maintained, gained and lost weight over the course of the trial. More that half (54%) of the sample gained weight (more than 3% of baseline weight) during the 24 months of the trial. There were no treatment differences between categories of weight stability. CHOICES is one of the first web-based weight gain prevention intervention trials to be conducted in 2-year or technical colleges and the results suggest that a primarily web-based intervention may be useful in helping young adults avoid transitioning from a healthy weight to overweight or obese weight status.
Author Disclosures: L.A. Lytle: None. M. Laska: None. M. Nanney: None. J. Linde: None. S. Moe: None.
- © 2015 by American Heart Association, Inc.