Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Parham, Ellen S.

Degree Name

M.S. (Master of Science)

Legacy Department

Department of Human and Family Resources


Illinois Heart Association; Weight loss


The purpose of this study was to evaluate two weight control programs designed and sponsored by the Illinois Heart Association (IHA). The programs were directed toward effective weight control through the combined use of behavior modification techniques, exercise, and nutrition education. Thirty-one 10-session programs occurring between 1977 and 1980 and ten 20-session programs occurring between 1980 and 1982 were studied and evaluated. Descriptive statistics from group participants and comments on lesson content, forms and materials from participants and leaders were evaluated. For a study on weight maintenance, a small sampling of 20-session participants were surveyed by telephone 18 months after their IHA program experiences. The two IHA programs displayed many similarities despite a difference in length of program. Demographics and outcomes were similar. In both programs, weight loss was influenced by attendance. Performance of males versus females in weight loss was evaluated. Best weight loss performance was achieved by 20-session program males. Comments from participants in both programs were largely favorable toward lesson content and leadership. Most interesting lessons were nutrition and exercise- oriented. Record-keeping by participant to aid habit changes was disliked, but considered a necessary procedure. The evaluation concluded with recommendations for expanding and improving the multi-disciplinary behavioral/nutrition/exercise format to include 15 sessions plus booster and follow-up sessions and a deposit/refund- for-weight-loss component for participants. Incentives for leaders included providing a small stipend and more in- depth training and supportive networking for leaders to enhance knowledge and experiences in employing behavioral techniques in a weight control program.


Bibliography: pages 115-122.


viii, 202 pages




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