The purpose of this study is to determine the effect of a spousal support enhanced weight
loss program on weight loss among African American men.
In 2012, African Americans (AA) were 1.4 times more likely to be overweight and obese than
non-Hispanic Whites. The Office of Minority Health reports the prevalence of overweight and
obesity (BMI>25) among AA men age 20 and older is 70%. AA men suffer disproportionately from
obesity-related consequences. Modest weight loss (WL) of 10% or less improves cardiovascular
disease risk factors and reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes. However, the majority of
participants in lifestyle weight loss (LWL) interventions are most commonly Caucasian women.
While men are unrepresented in weight loss programs; even fewer studies examine WL in AA men.
Only 4.5% of AA men participate in research studies, according to the National Institute of
Health (NIH). When AA men have participated in LWL interventions, they have loss less weight
compared to Caucasian men. Consequently, the evidence on the appropriateness of the current
WL strategies and recommendations for AA men is limited.
There is limited literature on the appropriate strategies for WL in AA men because of their
lack of participation. Social support is a predictor of weight loss and support from family
is important in AA culture. Spousal support results, defined as spouse or significant other,
are inconsistent and are largely conducted in Caucasian populations. The use of individual
based theoretical frameworks may explain these inconsistencies. Using a dyad based framework
like the Interdependence Theory may produce different results. The use of a dyad based
theoretical framework and testing the effects of spousal support adds to the literature of WL
among AA men.
This study seeks to determine the best strategies to attract overweight and obese AA men to
participate and examine the efficacy of a 3 month spousal support enhanced behavioral weight
loss intervention focused on behavior modification, nutrition and physical activity compared
to a traditional intervention in achieving clinical significant weight loss in AA men. Using
2 arms randomized controlled trial (RCT) 26 AA men and their partners will be recruited to
participate in each arm in Orange, Durham and Wake County, North Carolina. The investigator
hypothesizes the proposed TEAM (Together Eating & Activity Matters) program, a spousal
support enhanced WL intervention, will result in clinical weight loss among AA men.
- The participant self-identifies as African American male.
- The participant is between the ages of 18 and 65.
- The participant has a BMI between 25 and 45 kg/m2.
- The participant enrolls with an African American overweight female spouse or
cohabiting intimate partner
- The participant has weekly access to the internet and/or a mobile phone with internet
- Both the participant and the partner are not willing and interested in losing weight.
- The participant is taking any medications that affect weight.
- The participant is participating in any other weight loss program.
- The participant has recently lost 10 lbs or more.
- The participant is expecting to relocate within the next 6 months.