Psychological Reports, 2011, 109, 1, 338-352. © Psychological Reports 2011
DOI 10.2466/ ISSN 0033-2941

The Coronary Health Improvement Project (CHIP) for
Lowering Weight and Improving Psychosocial Health

Carmen L. Thieszen, Department of Psychology, Loma Linda University, California
Ray M. Merrill, Department of Health Science, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah
Steven G. Aldana, Lifestyle Research Group, Mapleton, Utah
Hans A. Diehl, Lifestyle Medicine Institute, Loma Linda, California
Marita L. Mahoney, College of Education, California State University, San Bernardino
Roger L. Greenlaw, SwedishAmerican Center for Complementary, Medicine, Rockford, Illinois
David A. Vermeersch, Department of Psychology, Loma Linda University, California
Heike Englert, Department of Nutrition, University of Applied Sciences, Muenster, Germany

SUMMARY.—This study extends previous research evaluating the association between the CHIP intervention, change in body weight, and change in psychological health. A randomized controlled health intervention study lasting 4 wk. was used with 348 participants from metropolitan Rockford, Illinois; ages ranged from 24 to 81 yr. Participants were assessed at baseline, 6 wk., and 6 mo. The Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) and three selected psychosocial measures from the SF–36 Health Survey were used. Significantly greater decreases in Body Mass Index (BMI) occurred after 6 wk. and 6 mo. follow-up for the intervention group compared with the control group, with greater decreases for participants in the overweight and obese categories. Significantly greater improvements were observed in BDI scores, role-emotional and social functioning, and mental health throughout follow-up for the intervention group. The greater the decrease in BMI through 6 wk., the better the chance of improved BDI score, role-emotional score, social functioning score, and mental health score, with odds ratios of 1.3 to 1.9. Similar results occurred through 6 mo., except the mental health variable became nonsignificant. These results indicate that the CHIP intervention significantly improved psychological health for at least six months afterwards, in part through its influence on lowering BMI.