Factors That Characterize Completers And Non-Completers Of A Community Weight-Loss Challenge

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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. 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 (72%, n= 3,590). The mean age was 39.29 (SD=12.13) 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). There were significant differences between completers and non-completers concerning sex, age, receiving text message support, group participation, and baseline BMI. Multivariable regressions showed that the following increased the odds of program completion: being between the ages of 31-40 or older than 50, being female, receiving text message support, a greater degree of obesity and participating in a group. The predictors of program completion with the highest level of influence were participating in a small or large group. 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. To improve the impact of The Challenge, it would be best to target changeable predictors of program completion, including group participation and support from text messages. It is important to continue to work on increasing completion rates to enhance the effectiveness of community weight-loss programs.

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medical student

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