Weight Loss in Underserved Patients — A Cluster-Randomized Trial
Background Evidence of the effectiveness of treatment for obesity delivered in primary care settings in underserved populations is lacking.
Methods We conducted a cluster-randomized trial to test the effectiveness of a high-intensity, lifestyle-based program for obesity treatment delivered in primary care clinics in which a high percentage of the patients were from low-income populations. We randomly assigned 18 clinics to provide patients with either an intensive lifestyle intervention, which focused on reduced caloric intake and increased physical activity, or usual care. Patients in the intensive-lifestyle group participated in a high-intensity program delivered by health coaches embedded in the clinics. The program consisted of weekly sessions for the first 6 months, followed by monthly sessions for the remaining 18 months. Patients in the usual-care group received standard care from their primary care team. The primary outcome was the percent change from baseline in body weight at 24 months.