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Lifestyle Intervention for Weight Loss: a group-based program for Emiratis in Ajman, United Arab Emirates

Authors Sadiya A, Abdi S, Abusnana S

Received 4 January 2016

Accepted for publication 21 January 2016

Published 18 March 2016 Volume 2016:9 Pages 101—108


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Lucy Goodman

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Professor Ming-Hui Zou

Amena Sadiya,1,* Sarah Abdi,1,* Salah Abusnana2

1Lifestyle Clinic, 2Research and Education Department, Rashid Center for Diabetes and Research, Ajman, United Arab Emirates

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Background: Lifestyle Intervention for Weight Loss (LIFE-8) is developed as a structured, group-based weight management program for Emiratis with obesity and type 2 diabetes. It is a 3-month program followed by a 1-year follow-up. The results from the first 2 years are presented here to indicate the possibility of its further adaptation and implementation in this region.
Methodology: We recruited 45 participants with obesity and/or type 2 diabetes based on inclusion/exclusion criteria. The LIFE-8 program was executed by incorporating dietary modification, physical activity, and behavioral therapy, aiming to achieve up to 5% weight loss. The outcomes included body weight, fat mass, waist circumference, blood pressure, fasting blood glucose (FBG), hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c), and nutritional knowledge at 3 months and 12 months.
Results: We observed a reduction of 5.0% in body weight (4.8±2.8 kg; 95% CI 3.7–5.8), fat mass (–7.8%, P<0.01), and waist circumference (Δ=4±4 cm, P<0.01) in the completed participants (n=28). An improvement (P<0.05) in HbA1c (7.1%±1.0% vs 6.6%±0.7%) and FBG (8.2±2.0 mmol/L vs 6.8±0.8 mmol/L) was observed in participants with obesity and type 2 diabetes after the program. Increase in nutritional knowledge (<0.01) and overall evaluation of the program (9/10) was favorable. On 1-year follow-up, we found that the participants could sustain weight loss (–4.0%), while obese, type 2 diabetic participants sustained HbA1c (6.6%±0.7% vs 6.4%±0.7%) and further improved (P<0.05) the level of FBG (6.8±0.8 mmol/L vs 6.7±0.4 mmol/L).
Conclusion: LIFE-8 could be an effective, affordable, acceptable, and adaptable lifestyle intervention program for the prevention and management of diabetes in Emiratis. It was successful not only in delivering a modest weight loss but also in improving glycemic control in diabetic participants.

Keywords: obesity, type 2 diabetes, UAE

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