Healthy measures: Feasibility study of a moderate carbohydrate weight management intervention

Jamie L. Leslie, College of Nursing, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio, USA.
Cathleen Odar Stough, Department of Psychology, College of Arts and Sciences, Cincinnati, Ohio, USA.
Seung-Yeon Lee, Department of Rehabilitation, Exercise, and Nutrition Sciences, College of Allied Health Sciences, Cincinnati, Ohio, USA.
Monica J. Mitchell, Behavioral Medicine & Clinical Psychology, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, Ohio, USA.
Melissa Kalarchian, Duquesne University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA.


BACKGROUND: People of all weights need to prevent changes that could lead to obesity, a leading public health issue. OBJECTIVE: To assess the feasibility of Healthy Measures, a moderate carbohydrate (160-300 g/d) nutrition education and behavioral intervention. DESIGN: An uncontrolled intervention feasibility study including in-person group meetings every 2 weeks for 3 months. SAMPLE: Fifteen participants of normal and overweight BMI. MEASUREMENTS: We assessed feasibility of recruitment, attendance, retention and satisfaction as well as anthropometric measures and social cognitive variables with Healthy Measures, a nutrition-focused intervention with moderate carbohydrate portions that also emphasizes self-monitoring of anthropometric measurements. An intent-to-treat analysis was used. RESULTS: Healthy Measures was feasible, with 13 participants (86.7%) completing pre- and post-intervention assessments. Eight participants lost or maintained weight (53.3%); four gained weight. Healthy eating self-efficacy increased overall (t = -2.54, p = .024). Increased protein and fat intake was associated with weight loss, while reduced protein, carbohydrate, and fat intake resulted in weight gain. CONCLUSIONS: Healthy Measures shows promise for prevention of weight gain, with evidence of feasibility and positive outcomes. Further research is needed to establish efficacy relative to alternative approaches.