Group-Based Trajectory Analysis of Physical Activity Change in a US Weight Loss Intervention

in Journal of Physical Activity and Health
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Background: The obesity epidemic is a global concern. Standard behavioral treatment including increased physical activity, reduced energy intake, and behavioral change counseling is an effective lifestyle intervention for weight loss. Purpose: To identify distinct step count patterns among weight loss intervention participants, examine weight loss differences by trajectory group, and examine baseline factors associated with trajectory group membership. Methods: Both groups received group-based standard behavioral treatment while the experimental group received up to 30 additional, one-on-one self-efficacy enhancement sessions. Data were analyzed using group-based trajectory modeling, analysis of variance, chi-square tests, and multinomial logistic regression. Results: Participants (N = 120) were mostly female (81.8%) and white (73.6%) with a mean (SD) body mass index of 33.2 (3.8) kg/m2. Four step count trajectory groups were identified: active (>10,000 steps/day; 11.7%), somewhat active (7500–10,000 steps/day; 28.3%), low active (5000–7500 steps/day; 27.5%), and sedentary (<5000 steps/day; 32.5%). Percent weight loss at 12 months increased incrementally by trajectory group (5.1% [5.7%], 7.8% [6.9%], 8.0% [7.4%], and 13.63% [7.0%], respectively; P = .001). At baseline, lower body mass index and higher perceived health predicted membership in the better performing trajectory groups. Conclusions: Within a larger group of adults in a weight loss intervention, 4 distinct trajectory groups were identified and group membership was associated with differential weight loss.

Imes, Sereika, and Burke are with the School of Nursing, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA. Zheng is with the Connell School of Nursing, Boston College, Chestnut Hill, MA. Mendez and Rockette-Wagner are with the Department of Epidemiology, Graduate School of Public Health, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA. Mattos is with the School of Nursing, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA. Goode is with the School of Social Work, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC.

Imes (imesc@pitt.edu) is corresponding author.
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