Community-based approach to weight loss: the Pawtucket "weigh-in"
The Pawtucket Heart Health Program (PHHP), in its attempt to treat obesity in the community, has delivered many traditional group and self-help weight loss programs. However, in order to reach a sufficient number of people to produce a public health impact in Pawtucket, PHHP devised a monthly city-wide +ACI-weigh-in.+ACI- This program, designed to be delivered by volunteers, allowed individuals to set a weight loss goal and pledge a monetary incentive toward this goal. Self-help materials and the opportunity to join weight loss groups were provided. In the pilot study, 129 (61+ACU-) of 213 enrollees completed the 10-week program with a mean weight loss of 8.2 lb (p less than .001). A large decrease in total serum cholesterol was also observed. Nonpersonnel costs, including the total costs of the cholesterol measurement, were +ACQ-1.30 per pound lost. Moreover, success is also evident by continued availability of the program and the increasing number of new participants +ACI-referred+ACI- to the weigh-in by members