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The objective of this study was to identify factors associated with the completion of a 16-week free community weight-loss challenge.

Subjects: Sample participants include overweight, and obese adults (n=4,932) enrolled in “The Challenge” held in a south Texas border community. Participants were mostly female (73%, n=3,590). The mean age was 38.62 (SD=11.9) years, with a mean BMI of 35.0 (SD=7.2). The majority of participants opted to participate as individuals (41%, n=2,035), or in a small group of 2-10 participants (40%, n=1,958), and to receive text message support (83%, n=4,006).

Results: There were significant differences between completers and non-completers concerning sex, age, language preference, group participation, and baseline BMI.

Multivariable regressions communicate that being between the ages of 41-50 years, female sex, receiving text message support, a lesser degree of obesity and participating in a group were associated with increased odds of program completion. Participating in a small or large group exerted the strongest influence on program completion. Participants who joined as part of a small group increased their odds of completion by 50% compared to participants who enrolled as individuals. The effect was even greater among those enrolling in a large group with a threefold increase in the odds of completing compared to registering as an individual.

Conclusion: Targeting modifiable predictors of program completion, including group participation and support from text messages, will yield the greatest impact on “The Challenge” outcomes. It is important to continue to work on increasing completion rates to enhance the effectiveness of community weight-loss programs.

Academic Level

medical student

Available for download on Thursday, March 21, 2024