Pretreatment, Psychological, and Behavioral Predictors of Weight Outcomes Among Lifestyle Intervention Participants in the Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP)

  1. for the DPP Research Group*
  1. 1Department of Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital Diabetes Center, Boston, Massachusetts
  2. 2Department of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts
  3. 3Department of Sociology, Loyola University Maryland, Baltimore, Maryland
  4. 4Department of Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts
  5. 5Pennington Biomedical Research Center, Baton Rouge, Louisiana
  1. Corresponding author: Linda M. Delahanty, ldelahanty{at}


OBJECTIVE To identify the most important pretreatment characteristics and changes in psychological and behavioral factors that predict weight outcomes in the Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP).

RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS Approximately 25% of DPP lifestyle intervention participants (n = 274) completed questionnaires to assess weight history and psychological and behavioral factors at baseline and 6 months after completion of the 16-session core curriculum. The change in variables from baseline to 6 months was assessed with t tests. Multivariate models using hierarchical logistic regression assessed the association of weight outcomes at end of study with each demographic, weight loss history, psychological, and behavioral factor.

RESULTS At end of study, 40.5% had achieved the DPP 7% weight loss goal. Several baseline measures (older age, race, older age when first overweight, fewer self-implemented weight loss attempts, greater exercise self-efficacy, greater dietary restraint, fewer fat-related dietary behaviors, more sedentary activity level) were independent predictors of successful end-of-study weight loss with the DPP lifestyle program. The DPP core curriculum resulted in significant improvements in many psychological and behavioral targets. Changes in low-fat diet self-efficacy and dietary restraint skills predicted better long-term weight loss, and the association of low-fat diet self-efficacy with weight outcomes was explained by dietary behaviors.

CONCLUSIONS Health care providers who translate the DPP lifestyle intervention should be aware of pretreatment characteristics that may hamper or enhance weight loss, consider prioritizing strategies to improve low-fat diet self-efficacy and dietary restraint skills, and examine whether taking these actions improves weight loss outcomes.


  • Received April 17, 2012.
  • Accepted July 4, 2012.

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  1. Diabetes Care vol. 36 no. 1 34-40
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