A comparison of outcomes of young and old adult males in the SHED-IT weight loss program for men. (#196)
Background: There is insufficient evidence for effective obesity treatment interventions that engage young men. The few studies that recruit young men (YM) have reported small sample sizes, high attrition rates and poor outcomes. Therefore, the study aim was to compare outcomes by intervention group for YM (<35yr) and older men (OM) (>35) in a gender-tailored weight loss program. Methods: Secondary analysis from a three-arm RCT. Overweight/obese men (n=159, age=47.5 range: 21-64, mean BMI: 32.7kg/m2) in Newcastle, Australia were given a 3-month intervention: SHED-IT (Self Help, Exercise and Diet using Information Technology). YM (n=23) and OM (n=136) were compared on a range of measures: weight loss (kg & %), BMI change, waist circumference change, participants achieving 5% weight loss (%) and program retention. Significant differences between YM and OM were assessed by t-test or chi-squared test and significant differences by group (online, resources, control) were assessed by ANOVA or chi-squared test. Results: At 3 months, retention was lower in YM compared to OM (70% vs 85%;p<0.001). At 6 months, significantly greater weight loss was observed in YM for Online (−7.1kg; p=0.03) and Resources (−1.5kg; p=0.03) groups compared to the control (+0.7kg; p=0.03). Additionally, both intervention groups significantly improved percent weight loss (p=0.05) and BMI (p=0.04). At 6 months, significantly greater weight loss was observed in OM for Online (−5.6kg;p<0.001) and Resources (−5.0kg;p<0.001) groups compared to the control (-0.8kg; p<0.001). Additionally, both intervention groups significantly improved percent weight loss, BMI, waist circumference, and participants achieving 5% weight loss (all p<0.001). Conclusion: OM have significantly better recruitment and retention rates than YM. The intervention medium affects intervention success for YM rather than OM, with YM suited to online approaches rather than paper-based. Efforts are required to better develop interventions that are specifically tailored, to improve recruitment, retention and engagement in YM.