Vibrant Lives - A Weight Loss Program for Employees of the Pasadena Independent School District



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The Center for Energy Balance in Cancer Prevention and Survivorship in collaboration with the Cancer Control Platform, Pasadena Vibrant Community Initiative, and Pasadena ISD implemented a weight loss program for Pasadena Independent School District (Pasadena ISD) employees called Vibrant Lives. Vibrant Lives is an eHealth weight loss intervention that stresses healthy eating, physical activity, and portion control for overweight and obese employees of Pasadena ISD. Vibrant Lives is a 6 month program that is available in Spanish and English, including program materials and components. It is comprised of 16 lessons adapted from the Diabetes Prevention Program, weekly text messages, and use of a Fitbit and Wi-Fi connected Aria scale. Half of the participants are randomized to receive telephone coaching. The significance of such research is due to the fact that obesity increases the risk of 11 types of cancer (colorectal, post-menopausal breast, endometrial, advanced prostate, ovarian, esophageal, gall bladder, kidney, pancreas, stomach, liver). In addition, physical inactivity increases the risk of colon, rectal, breast, esophageal, liver, lung, kidney, stomach, endometrial, myeloid leukemia, myeloma, head and neck, and bladder cancer. American Cancer Society guidelines for cancer prevention include maintaining a healthy weight, being physically active, and eating a diet rich in vegetables, fruits, and whole grains, limiting red meat and avoiding processed meat. Ramifications involving effective behavioral weight loss interventions deal heavily on individual or group counseling and are not readily scalable because of the costs involved, as well as travel and time constraints for program participants. Recent research has tested weight loss interventions that use technology (mHealth interventions) to overcome the barriers of high costs, time, and travel. The Vibrant Schools weight loss program will use evidence- based mHealth technology to assist people with making the behavioral changes necessary to lose weight. But usually if not placed within a structured and supportive environment there is a higher risk of participants becoming noncompliant, or a dependency on that support. This project was completed with contributions from Karen Basen-Engquist from the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center.