Megan Jones1, Anthony Campitelli1, Cody Diehl1, Ray Urbina1, Jordan Glenn4, Kelsey Bryk4, Joshua Gills3, Sally Paulson2 and Michelle Gray1

1University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, AR

2St. Elizabeth Healthcare

3Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ

4Neurotrack Technologies

Obesity, defined as having abnormal or excessive fat accumulation, is a disease affecting all populations worldwide and is linked to diabetes mellitus, hypertension, and cardiovascular disease (CVD). Diseases associated with excess body fat is estimated to cause nearly 3 million deaths a year worldwide with CVD being a main cause of premature death among men. It has been established that physical activity and regular exercise can decrease body fat and prevent chronic disease however, only 23% of the adult population meets recommendations for physical activity. Commonly reported barriers for not participating in physical activity include lack of motivation, social support, and knowledge. Health coaching is lifestyle intervention designed to give personalized programming to individuals to help remove these barriers. PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to determine if 1 year of a health coaching intervention would improve body composition in males 45 -75 years. METHODS: Males aged 45 -75 years (N: 59: age: 61.4±8.6 years) were randomly assigned to a health coaching (HC) group (N=34) or a health education (HE) group (N=25) with body composition measurements taken at baseline and 1-year. Height and body weight (BW) were collected to determine body mass index (BMI). Dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) was used to evaluate total body fat percentage (%BF), android fat (AF), gynoid fat (GF), and lean mass (LM). Individuals in HC received 1-on-1 health coaching every 6-8 weeks targeting improvements in self-selected lifestyle modifications. Those in HE received educational emails on lifestyle modifications once every 2 weeks. RESULTS: After 1-year of intervention, those in HC significantly decreased BMI (p<.05) by 2%, AF (p<.05) by 3%, and GF (p=.05) by 4% when compared to those in HE where increases of 1%, 2% and 1% were observed in these variables, respectively. Although not significant, those in HC also displayed decreases in BW (p=.06) by 2% and %BF (p=.08) by 3% when compared to those in HE who observed a 1% increase in BW and no change in %BF. No changes were observed for lean mass for either group. CONCLUSION: After 1-year of intervention, health coaching was effective in decreasing body weight and body fat in males aged 45 – 75 years when compared to males who received 1-year of health education.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS: Grant funding for this study was secured from the National Institutes on Aging by Neurotrack Technologies, Inc.

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