Characteristics Associated with Participation in a Behavioral Weight Loss Randomized Control Trial in the U.S. Military

Margaret C. Fahey, Marion Hare, Gerald W. Talcott, Mehmet Kocak, Ann Hryshko-Mullen, Robert C. Klesges, Rebecca Krukowski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Introduction: Effective recruitment and subsequent enrollment of diverse populations is often a challenge in randomized controlled trials, especially those focused on weight loss. In the civilian literature, individuals identified as racial and ethnic minorities, men, and younger and older adults are poorly represented in weight loss interventions. There are limited weight loss trials within military populations, and to our knowledge, none reported participant characteristics associated with enrollment. There may be unique motives and barriers for active duty personnel for enrollment in weight management trials. Given substantial costs and consequences of overweight and obesity in the U.S. military, identifying predictors and limitations to diverse enrollment can inform future interventions within this population. The study aims to describe the recruitment, screening, and enrollment process of a military weight loss intervention. Demographic and lifestyle characteristics of military personnel lost between screening and randomization are compared to characteristics of personnel randomized in the study and characteristics of the Air Force in general. Materials and Methods: The Fit Blue study, a randomized controlled behavioral weight loss trial for active duty personnel, was approved by the Institutional Review Board of the Wilford Hall Ambulatory Surgical Center in San Antonio, TX, USA and acknowledged by the Institutional Review Board at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center. Logistic regressions compared participant demographics, anthropometric data, and health behaviors between personnel that attended a screening visit but were not randomized and those randomized. Multivariable models were constructed for the likelihood of being randomized using a liberal entry and stay criteria of 0.10 for the p-values in a stepwise variable selection algorithm. Descriptive statistics compared the randomized Fit Blue cohort demographics to those of the U.S. Air Force Results: In univariate analyses, older age (p < 0.02), having a college degree or higher (p < 0.007) and higher military rank (p < 0.02) were associated with completing the randomization process. The randomized cohort reported a lower percentage of total daily kilocalories for fat compared to the non-randomized cohort (p = 0.033). The non-randomized cohort reported more total minutes and intensity of physical activity (p = 0.073). In the multivariate model, only those with a college degree or higher were 3.2 times more likely to go onto randomization. (OR = 3.2, 95% CI = 2.0, 5.6, p < 0.0001). The Fit Blue study included a higher representation of personnel who identified as African American (19.4% versus 15.0%) and Hispanic/Latino (22.7% versus 14.3%) compared with the U.S. Air Force in general; however, men were underrepresented (49.4% versus 80.0%). Conclusions: Accounting for all influencing characteristics, higher educational status was the only independent predictor of randomization. Perhaps, highly educated personnel are more invested in a military career, and thus, more concerned with consequences of failing required fitness tests. Thus, it may be important for future weight loss interventions to focus recruitment on less-educated personnel. Results suggest that weight loss interventions within a military population offer a unique opportunity to recruit a higher prevalence of males and individuals who identify as racial or ethnic minorities which are populations commonly underrepresented in weight loss research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E120-E126
JournalMilitary medicine
Volume184
Issue number3-4
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2019

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Weight Loss
Random Allocation
Population
Research Ethics Committees
Air
Demography
Hispanic Americans
Educational Status
Health Behavior
Military Personnel
African Americans
Life Style
Young Adult
Randomized Controlled Trials
Obesity
Logistic Models
Fats
Exercise
Weights and Measures
Costs and Cost Analysis

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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Characteristics Associated with Participation in a Behavioral Weight Loss Randomized Control Trial in the U.S. Military. / Fahey, Margaret C.; Hare, Marion; Talcott, Gerald W.; Kocak, Mehmet; Hryshko-Mullen, Ann; Klesges, Robert C.; Krukowski, Rebecca.

In: Military medicine, Vol. 184, No. 3-4, 01.03.2019, p. E120-E126.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Fahey, Margaret C. ; Hare, Marion ; Talcott, Gerald W. ; Kocak, Mehmet ; Hryshko-Mullen, Ann ; Klesges, Robert C. ; Krukowski, Rebecca. / Characteristics Associated with Participation in a Behavioral Weight Loss Randomized Control Trial in the U.S. Military. In: Military medicine. 2019 ; Vol. 184, No. 3-4. pp. E120-E126.
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abstract = "Introduction: Effective recruitment and subsequent enrollment of diverse populations is often a challenge in randomized controlled trials, especially those focused on weight loss. In the civilian literature, individuals identified as racial and ethnic minorities, men, and younger and older adults are poorly represented in weight loss interventions. There are limited weight loss trials within military populations, and to our knowledge, none reported participant characteristics associated with enrollment. There may be unique motives and barriers for active duty personnel for enrollment in weight management trials. Given substantial costs and consequences of overweight and obesity in the U.S. military, identifying predictors and limitations to diverse enrollment can inform future interventions within this population. The study aims to describe the recruitment, screening, and enrollment process of a military weight loss intervention. Demographic and lifestyle characteristics of military personnel lost between screening and randomization are compared to characteristics of personnel randomized in the study and characteristics of the Air Force in general. Materials and Methods: The Fit Blue study, a randomized controlled behavioral weight loss trial for active duty personnel, was approved by the Institutional Review Board of the Wilford Hall Ambulatory Surgical Center in San Antonio, TX, USA and acknowledged by the Institutional Review Board at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center. Logistic regressions compared participant demographics, anthropometric data, and health behaviors between personnel that attended a screening visit but were not randomized and those randomized. Multivariable models were constructed for the likelihood of being randomized using a liberal entry and stay criteria of 0.10 for the p-values in a stepwise variable selection algorithm. Descriptive statistics compared the randomized Fit Blue cohort demographics to those of the U.S. Air Force Results: In univariate analyses, older age (p < 0.02), having a college degree or higher (p < 0.007) and higher military rank (p < 0.02) were associated with completing the randomization process. The randomized cohort reported a lower percentage of total daily kilocalories for fat compared to the non-randomized cohort (p = 0.033). The non-randomized cohort reported more total minutes and intensity of physical activity (p = 0.073). In the multivariate model, only those with a college degree or higher were 3.2 times more likely to go onto randomization. (OR = 3.2, 95{\%} CI = 2.0, 5.6, p < 0.0001). The Fit Blue study included a higher representation of personnel who identified as African American (19.4{\%} versus 15.0{\%}) and Hispanic/Latino (22.7{\%} versus 14.3{\%}) compared with the U.S. Air Force in general; however, men were underrepresented (49.4{\%} versus 80.0{\%}). Conclusions: Accounting for all influencing characteristics, higher educational status was the only independent predictor of randomization. Perhaps, highly educated personnel are more invested in a military career, and thus, more concerned with consequences of failing required fitness tests. Thus, it may be important for future weight loss interventions to focus recruitment on less-educated personnel. Results suggest that weight loss interventions within a military population offer a unique opportunity to recruit a higher prevalence of males and individuals who identify as racial or ethnic minorities which are populations commonly underrepresented in weight loss research.",
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AU - Hare, Marion

AU - Talcott, Gerald W.

AU - Kocak, Mehmet

AU - Hryshko-Mullen, Ann

AU - Klesges, Robert C.

AU - Krukowski, Rebecca

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N2 - Introduction: Effective recruitment and subsequent enrollment of diverse populations is often a challenge in randomized controlled trials, especially those focused on weight loss. In the civilian literature, individuals identified as racial and ethnic minorities, men, and younger and older adults are poorly represented in weight loss interventions. There are limited weight loss trials within military populations, and to our knowledge, none reported participant characteristics associated with enrollment. There may be unique motives and barriers for active duty personnel for enrollment in weight management trials. Given substantial costs and consequences of overweight and obesity in the U.S. military, identifying predictors and limitations to diverse enrollment can inform future interventions within this population. The study aims to describe the recruitment, screening, and enrollment process of a military weight loss intervention. Demographic and lifestyle characteristics of military personnel lost between screening and randomization are compared to characteristics of personnel randomized in the study and characteristics of the Air Force in general. Materials and Methods: The Fit Blue study, a randomized controlled behavioral weight loss trial for active duty personnel, was approved by the Institutional Review Board of the Wilford Hall Ambulatory Surgical Center in San Antonio, TX, USA and acknowledged by the Institutional Review Board at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center. Logistic regressions compared participant demographics, anthropometric data, and health behaviors between personnel that attended a screening visit but were not randomized and those randomized. Multivariable models were constructed for the likelihood of being randomized using a liberal entry and stay criteria of 0.10 for the p-values in a stepwise variable selection algorithm. Descriptive statistics compared the randomized Fit Blue cohort demographics to those of the U.S. Air Force Results: In univariate analyses, older age (p < 0.02), having a college degree or higher (p < 0.007) and higher military rank (p < 0.02) were associated with completing the randomization process. The randomized cohort reported a lower percentage of total daily kilocalories for fat compared to the non-randomized cohort (p = 0.033). The non-randomized cohort reported more total minutes and intensity of physical activity (p = 0.073). In the multivariate model, only those with a college degree or higher were 3.2 times more likely to go onto randomization. (OR = 3.2, 95% CI = 2.0, 5.6, p < 0.0001). The Fit Blue study included a higher representation of personnel who identified as African American (19.4% versus 15.0%) and Hispanic/Latino (22.7% versus 14.3%) compared with the U.S. Air Force in general; however, men were underrepresented (49.4% versus 80.0%). Conclusions: Accounting for all influencing characteristics, higher educational status was the only independent predictor of randomization. Perhaps, highly educated personnel are more invested in a military career, and thus, more concerned with consequences of failing required fitness tests. Thus, it may be important for future weight loss interventions to focus recruitment on less-educated personnel. Results suggest that weight loss interventions within a military population offer a unique opportunity to recruit a higher prevalence of males and individuals who identify as racial or ethnic minorities which are populations commonly underrepresented in weight loss research.

AB - Introduction: Effective recruitment and subsequent enrollment of diverse populations is often a challenge in randomized controlled trials, especially those focused on weight loss. In the civilian literature, individuals identified as racial and ethnic minorities, men, and younger and older adults are poorly represented in weight loss interventions. There are limited weight loss trials within military populations, and to our knowledge, none reported participant characteristics associated with enrollment. There may be unique motives and barriers for active duty personnel for enrollment in weight management trials. Given substantial costs and consequences of overweight and obesity in the U.S. military, identifying predictors and limitations to diverse enrollment can inform future interventions within this population. The study aims to describe the recruitment, screening, and enrollment process of a military weight loss intervention. Demographic and lifestyle characteristics of military personnel lost between screening and randomization are compared to characteristics of personnel randomized in the study and characteristics of the Air Force in general. Materials and Methods: The Fit Blue study, a randomized controlled behavioral weight loss trial for active duty personnel, was approved by the Institutional Review Board of the Wilford Hall Ambulatory Surgical Center in San Antonio, TX, USA and acknowledged by the Institutional Review Board at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center. Logistic regressions compared participant demographics, anthropometric data, and health behaviors between personnel that attended a screening visit but were not randomized and those randomized. Multivariable models were constructed for the likelihood of being randomized using a liberal entry and stay criteria of 0.10 for the p-values in a stepwise variable selection algorithm. Descriptive statistics compared the randomized Fit Blue cohort demographics to those of the U.S. Air Force Results: In univariate analyses, older age (p < 0.02), having a college degree or higher (p < 0.007) and higher military rank (p < 0.02) were associated with completing the randomization process. The randomized cohort reported a lower percentage of total daily kilocalories for fat compared to the non-randomized cohort (p = 0.033). The non-randomized cohort reported more total minutes and intensity of physical activity (p = 0.073). In the multivariate model, only those with a college degree or higher were 3.2 times more likely to go onto randomization. (OR = 3.2, 95% CI = 2.0, 5.6, p < 0.0001). The Fit Blue study included a higher representation of personnel who identified as African American (19.4% versus 15.0%) and Hispanic/Latino (22.7% versus 14.3%) compared with the U.S. Air Force in general; however, men were underrepresented (49.4% versus 80.0%). Conclusions: Accounting for all influencing characteristics, higher educational status was the only independent predictor of randomization. Perhaps, highly educated personnel are more invested in a military career, and thus, more concerned with consequences of failing required fitness tests. Thus, it may be important for future weight loss interventions to focus recruitment on less-educated personnel. Results suggest that weight loss interventions within a military population offer a unique opportunity to recruit a higher prevalence of males and individuals who identify as racial or ethnic minorities which are populations commonly underrepresented in weight loss research.

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