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Journal of Obesity
Volume 2016 (2016), Article ID 7562890, 10 pages
Research Article

Changes in Weight Loss, Health Behaviors, and Intentions among 400 Participants Who Dropped out from an Insurance-Sponsored, Community-Based Weight Management Program

1WVU College of Physical Activity and Sport Sciences, Morgantown, WV 26501, USA
2WVU School of Public Health, Morgantown, WV 26501, USA

Received 2 November 2015; Accepted 12 May 2016

Academic Editor: Bangalore N. Gangadhar

Copyright © 2016 Sam J. Zizzi et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The majority of weight management research is based on data from randomized controlled studies conducted in clinical settings. As these findings are translated into community-based settings, additional research is needed to understand patterns of lifestyle change and dropout. The purpose of this study was to examine reasons for and consequences associated with dropout (or removal) from an insurance-funded weight management program. Using a mixed methods approach with objectively measured changes in body weight and attendance along with quantitative and qualitative survey data, patterns of intention and behavior change were explored. The results from a sample of 400 respondents support the idea that there are both positive and negative consequences of program participation. Overall, 1 in 5 respondents lost a clinically significant amount of weight during the program (>5% of baseline body weight) and 1 in 3 experienced a positive consequence, while only 6% expressed a negative outcome of participation. Additionally, nearly 90% of all of the consequences that emerged from the data were positive. Attitude change was a major theme, including positive health intentions, perceived success, learning skills, and new appreciation of exercise.