Effects of an Intensive Diet and Physical Activity Modification Program on the Health Risks of Adults


Aldana SG, Greenlaw RL, Diehl HA, Salberg A, Merrill RM, Ohmine S, Thomas C.

College of Health and Human Performance, Brigham Young University, Provo, UT 84602-2214, USA. steve_aldana@byu.edu


This study assessed the clinical impact of lifestyle change education on chronic disease risk factors within a community.


Randomized clinical trial.


Participants included 337 volunteers age 43 to 81 years from the Rockford, IL, metropolitan area.


The intervention group attended a 40-hour educational course delivered over a 4-week period. Participants learned the importance of making healthful lifestyle choices and how to make improvements in nutrition and physical activity.


Changes in health knowledge, nutrition, and physical activity behavior, and several chronic disease risk factors were assessed at baseline and 6 weeks.


Beneficial mean changes in scores tended to be significant for the intervention group but not for the control group. Variables with improved scores included health knowledge, percent body fat, total steps per week, and most nutrition variables. Clinical improvements were seen in resting heart rate, total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, and systolic and diastolic blood pressure. The control group experienced comparatively small but significant improvements in health knowledge, systolic and diastolic blood pressure, glucose, and in some nutrition variables. For almost all variables, the intervention group showed significantly greater improvements.


This lifestyle modification program is an efficacious nutrition and physical activity intervention in the short term and has the potential to dramatically reduce the risks associated with common chronic diseases in the long term.

PMID: 15746824 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]


Last Updated: April 9, 2008