Background

This observational study documents the effect of a lifestyle health education on weight.

Methods

The educational intervention consisted of 8 weekly meetings of 2 hours per week. Participants (n=252) watched a lecture by a mental health professional and contributed to a lifestyle discussion. Healthy lifestyle principles of nutrition (whole food plant-based diet), exercise, rest, bright light, sleep, and other lifestyle changes were encouraged. No physician-patient relationship was formed. Each participant began and ended the program by completing An 85-question survey called the Depression and Anxiety Assessment Test that uses a modified PHQ-9 (Patient Health Questionnaire) to evaluate levels of depression, demographics, self-reported height and weight, and other lifestyle characteristics. Depression and anxiety levels were classified by DSM-5 [The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders Volume 5].

Results

A mean weight loss of 0.43kg (t: 1.88, p < 0.03) by the end of the intervention was experienced by the n=252 participants studied. When participants were divided by BMI category, and it was evaluated the baseline and end BMI a pattern emerged. Those with normal BMI maintained or gained a little bit of weight (mean difference: < 0.2kg). However, obese (BMI > 30) individuals lost more weight, losing an average of 1.21kg (t: 1.92, p < 0.03). The obese participants also reported increase improved sleeping patterns by the end of the intervention.

Conclusions

Lifestyle educational interventions cased weight loss among the obese without risking weight loss among normal or underweight people. Sleep was also improved.