Background There are many different weight loss aides and programs available for individuals to lose weight, which are at a substantial cost to the individual. Most of the time the programs produce initial weight loss but once the individuals discontinue the diet and return to normal eating habits, they, gain their weight back. A retrospective chart review was performed to determine if a lifestyle modification program that offered a cash incentive helped motivate individuals to lose and keep weight off. Participants from rural Eastern Oregon attended a lifestyle modification class to learn about eating behaviors and how to make healthier choices. Participants were encouraged to make lifestyle behavior modifications in lieu of expensive dieting programs. Methods Inclusion criteria was based simply on any individual that was willing to attend the lifestyle modification class and wished to lose weight. The study excluded those that were under 18 years of age and individuals having a BMI under 25%. The study began August 6, 2002. The program was broken up into two phases. Phase 1 looked at how much weight the participants could lose in the first 6 months and the phase 1 ended February 3, 2003. The last phase of the program, which will end August 11,2003, will address maintaining the weight loss. A retrospective chart review looking at the first 36 weeks of the study was conducted using averages to analyze the data. Results Overall, 26 participants were included in the study. The participants all together lost 191.5 pounds. The averages weight loss being 7.4 pounds per participant, with the losses ranging from 0.5 weight gain to a loss of 60 pounds. The average systolic blood pressure decreased 11 mmHg and the average diastolic blood pressure decreased 9 mmHg. Anthropometrics decreased an average of 0.5 inches in the right and left arm, and 0.8 inches in the right and left thigh, 1.4 inches in the waist and 1.3 inches in the hip. The participants decreased their BMI on average 1.2%. Conclusion The lifestyle modification project accepted 26 participants out of which 23 participants dropped out of the study. Therefore our results do not support our theory that the utilization of cash bonuses is a motivating factor in weight loss. Keywords Lifestyle modification, weight loss, behavior'modification, dieting, blood pressure, BMI, ideal body weight
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