The candidate for this K23 Award is a junior faculty member whose long-term goal is to have an academic research career focused on the improvement of weight loss maintenance following obesity treatment and the dissemination of research findings into applied clinical settings. In order to achieve this goal, specific training objectives for this award include: 1) develop expertise in the delivery and evaluation of extended care weight loss maintenance interventions as they are implemented in applied clinical settings (i.e., managed care), 2) develop expertise in the research methodology and statistical approach for evaluating maintenance interventions, 3) expand understanding of biological/physiological aspects of obesity and weight loss, 4) develop expertise in the evaluation of maintenance programs'cost-effectiveness, and 5) develop an R01 application to further examine innovative and effective approaches to weight loss maintenance in applied settings. To achieve these objectives, the candidate proposes a five-year training program under the primary mentorship of Dr. Michael Perri, an accomplished researcher in obesity and weight loss maintenance. The mentorship team includes additional faculty members with expertise in the dissemination of weight loss programs to managed care settings, cost analysis of healthcare programs, biological and physiological effects of weight loss, and biostatistical and methodological approaches to weight loss maintenance trials. Training activities include graduate coursework, national workshops/seminars, didactic instruction from mentors, and participation in on-site shadowing/training. This training plan will provide the candidate with the skills to address an important area of research, as weight regain following treatment is common and previous maintenance programs have achieved only modest success. In particular, the research plan for this award includes an investigation of the effects of differing schedules of follow-up contacts for weight loss maintenance. Participants achieving >5% weight loss in an initial weight loss program provided in a managed care setting will be randomized into a 12-month extended care maintenance trial, including 1) a clustered/campaign program, or 2) a self-directed comparison condition. There is a variety of empirical, theoretical, and clinical evidence to suggest that a clustered/campaign approach to extended care may improve weight loss maintenance, although this approach has not been empirically evaluated. Given the limitations associated with current weight loss maintenance strategies, such research is novel and important for potentially minimizing weight regain following obesity treatment.

Public Health Relevance

This project examines the effects of differing schedules of extended care contact following weight loss treatment in order to prevent weight regain following treatment. Since successful weight loss maintenance is particularly challenging for many individuals, this research has the potential to improve the long-term weight loss outcomes of obesity interventions.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK)
Mentored Patient-Oriented Research Career Development Award (K23)
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Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolic Diseases B Subcommittee (DDK)
Program Officer
Podskalny, Judith M,
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University of Alabama Birmingham
Internal Medicine/Medicine
Schools of Medicine
United States
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