Interventionist-Guided Weight Loss Program for African American Breast Cancer Survivors

Key Points

  • Mean weight loss was 3.6% vs 1.4% at 6 months and 2.6% vs 1.6% at 12 months with an interventionist-guided weight loss program vs a self-guided weight loss program.
  • Weight loss > 5% was achieved by 44% vs 19%.

As reported by Stolley et al in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, a community-based interventionist-guided weight loss program for African American breast cancer survivors (Moving Forward) proved successful in achieving weight loss goals compared with a self-guided weight loss program. African American women with breast cancer have higher cancer-specific and overall mortality and a high prevalence of obesity that contributes to breast cancer progression and chronic health conditions.

Study Details

The study included 246 women with stage I to III disease and body mass index (BMI) ≥ 25 kg/m2 from Chicago-area cancer centers and community-based efforts who were randomized to an interventionist-guided weight loss initiative targeting weight, body composition, and behavior (n = 125) or a self-guided weight loss program supporting behavioral changes (n = 121) to promote ≥ 5% weight loss. Patients had a mean age of 58 years, mean BMI was 36.1 kg/m2, and 82% had stage I or II disease.

Weight Loss

For the interventionist-guided vs self-guided groups, mean absolute and percentage weight loss were 3.5 kg vs 1.3 kg (P < .001) and 3.6% vs 1.4% (P < .001) at 6 months and 2.7 kg vs 1.6 kg (P < .05) and 2.6% vs 1.6% (P < .05) at 12 months. Overall, ≥ 5% weight loss was achieved in 44% vs 19%. Beneficial body composition and behavioral changes were also greater in the interventionist-guided group at 6 and 12 months.

The investigators concluded: “The study supports the efficacy of a community-based interventionist-guided weight loss program targeting [African American breast cancer survivors]. Although mean weight loss did not reach the targeted 5%, the mean loss of > 3% at 6 months is associated with improved health outcomes. Affordable, accessible health promotion programs represent a critical resource for [African American breast cancer survivors].”

The study was supported by the National Cancer Institute.

Melinda Stolley, PhD, of the Medical College of Wisconsin Cancer Center, is the corresponding author of the Journal of Clinical Oncology article.


The content in this post has not been reviewed by the American Society of Clinical Oncology, Inc. (ASCO®) and does not necessarily reflect the ideas and opinions of ASCO®.




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