Can an Intervention Based on Nutrition Education, Portion Control, and Behavior Change Motivation Create Sustained Weight Loss and Improve Health?

Deanna Gorgei, Annabel Ferguson, Farzaneh Daghigh

Research output: Contribution to conferencePresentation


Obesity is associated with increased all-cause mortality and morbidity from coronary heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, hypertension, and dyslipidemia. In this prospective cohort study, our group tested the hypothesis that a nutrition education and self-monitoring protocol would improve behavior and health outcomes of overweight and obese adults. The primary endpoint was weight and BMI, and other endpoints included blood pressure, lipid levels, HbA1c, fasting blood glucose, % body fat, waist circumference, and hip circumference.

A total of 27 adult participants completed this protocol over four cohorts with minor amendments to each cohort protocol. Each session introduced nutrition education, physical activity, and behavior modification strategies associated with achieving or maintaining a healthy weight. The program also emphasized mindfulness and portion control and their relationship to hunger, satiety, and long-term health. Self-monitoring was tracked through daily logging in a health passport.

Participants lost an average of 8.12 pounds (P < 0.001) by week 10. There was an average reduction of BMI of 1.40 kg/m2 (P < 0.001). In cohorts three and four (n = 12), waist circumference and blood pressure were measured at baseline and completion. Participants had an average decrease of 2.04 inches in waist circumference (P < 0.001) and a decrease in diastolic blood pressure of 5.58 mmHg (P = 0.012). In cohort four (n = 4), HbA1c and fasting blood glucose measurements were added. Participants had an average decrease in HbA1c of .73% (P = 0.031) and an average decrease in fasting blood glucose of 46.25 mg/dL (P = 0.041). No significant changes were found in hip circumference, body fat percentage, lipid levels, and systolic blood pressure.

Completing ten weeks of the Learn to Portion protocol resulted in significant weight and BMI reduction. In cohorts 2, 3, and 4, participants continued to lose weight during the five additional biweekly sessions, however, at a decreased rate. This may be due to the increased accountability in weekly group sessions. Larger sample sizes and long-term follow up are needed to assess the overall effectiveness of the program.
Original languageAmerican English
StatePublished - Jun 2022
EventNutrition 2022 - Virtual
Duration: Jun 1 2022 → …


ConferenceNutrition 2022
Period6/1/22 → …


  • Nutrition

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