Research article Topical Sections

Passive recruitment reach of a lifestyle management program to address obesity in the deep south during the COVID-19 pandemic

  • Received: 10 January 2023 Revised: 13 February 2023 Accepted: 13 February 2023 Published: 28 February 2023
  • Obesity is a significant public health concern, especially in the Deep South and in Mississippi where prevalence is among the worst in the nation paired, with other poor health outcomes and socioeconomic conditions. Lifestyle management programs that address modifiable risk factors, such as nutrition and physical activity, can be effective mitigation strategies to halt weight accumulation patterns and ameliorate metabolic risk factors for some populations. However, there is limited evidence regarding the implementation of effective practice models to address obesity risk in underserved and underrepresented populations, such as African Americans, and people in the stage of earlier adulthood. Furthermore, there is growing evidence supporting the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on lifestyle management programs that should be considered in these populations. The purpose of this manuscript was to describe the development and telehealth implementation of a weight management program during the COVID-19 pandemic and provide a preliminary examination of recruitment strategies and baseline characteristics for enrolled participants. Passive recruitment (social media, web, email, and other media advertisements) resulted in 157 screening initiations, and 79 of those participants met the study inclusion criteria. Further, of the 79 eligible participants, 38 completed all study enrollment requirements and presented with metabolic abnormalities. The study findings add to the emerging body of evidence for how the pandemic may have impacted lifestyle management programs and is representative of an understudied and underrepresented population.

    Citation: Jennifer L Lemacks, Laurie S Abbott, Cali Navarro, Stephanie McCoy, Tammy Greer, Sermin Aras, Michael B Madson, Jacqueline Reese-Smith, Chelsey Lawrick, June Gipson, Byron K Buck, Marcus Johnson. Passive recruitment reach of a lifestyle management program to address obesity in the deep south during the COVID-19 pandemic[J]. AIMS Public Health, 2023, 10(1): 116-128. doi: 10.3934/publichealth.2023010

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  • Obesity is a significant public health concern, especially in the Deep South and in Mississippi where prevalence is among the worst in the nation paired, with other poor health outcomes and socioeconomic conditions. Lifestyle management programs that address modifiable risk factors, such as nutrition and physical activity, can be effective mitigation strategies to halt weight accumulation patterns and ameliorate metabolic risk factors for some populations. However, there is limited evidence regarding the implementation of effective practice models to address obesity risk in underserved and underrepresented populations, such as African Americans, and people in the stage of earlier adulthood. Furthermore, there is growing evidence supporting the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on lifestyle management programs that should be considered in these populations. The purpose of this manuscript was to describe the development and telehealth implementation of a weight management program during the COVID-19 pandemic and provide a preliminary examination of recruitment strategies and baseline characteristics for enrolled participants. Passive recruitment (social media, web, email, and other media advertisements) resulted in 157 screening initiations, and 79 of those participants met the study inclusion criteria. Further, of the 79 eligible participants, 38 completed all study enrollment requirements and presented with metabolic abnormalities. The study findings add to the emerging body of evidence for how the pandemic may have impacted lifestyle management programs and is representative of an understudied and underrepresented population.



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    Acknowledgments



    This work was supported by the Mississippi INBRE, funded by an Institutional Development Award (IDeA) from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences of the National Institutes of Health under grant # P20GM103476.

    Conflict of interest



    The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

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