Efficacy of a weight loss intervention for african American breast cancer survivors

Melinda Stolley, Patricia Sheean, Ben Gerber, Claudia Arroyo, Linda Schiffer, Anjishnu Banerjee, Alexis Visotcky, Giamila Fantuzzi, Desmona Strahan, Lauren Matthews, Roxanne Dakers, Cynthia Carridine-Andrews, Katya Seligman, Sparkle Springfield, Angela Odoms-Young, Susan Hong, Kent Hoskins, Virginia Kaklamani, Lisa Sharp

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


Purpose African American women with breast cancer have higher cancer-specific and overall mortality rates. Obesity is common among African American women and contributes to breast cancer progression and numerous chronic conditions. Weight loss interventions among breast cancer survivors positively affect weight, behavior, biomarkers, and psychosocial outcomes, yet few target African Americans. This article examines the effects of Moving Forward, a weight loss intervention for African American breast cancer survivors (AABCS) on weight, body composition, and behavior. Patients and Methods Early-stage (I-III) AABCS were randomly assigned to a 6-month interventionist-guided (n = 125) or self-guided (n = 121) weight loss program supporting behavioral changes to promote a 5% weight loss. Anthropometric, body composition, and behavioral data were collected at baseline, postintervention (6 months), and follow-up (12 months). Descriptive statistics and mixed models analyses assessed differences between groups over time. Results Mean (6 standard deviation) age, and body mass index were 57.5 (6 10.1) years and 36.1 (6 6.2) kg/m 2 , respectively, and 82% had stage I or II breast cancer. Both groups lost weight. Mean and percentage of weight loss were greater in the guided versus self-guided group (at 6 months: 3.5 kg v 1.3kg; P, .001; 3.6% v 1.4%; P, .001, respectively; at 12 months: 2.7 kg v 1.6 kg; P, .05; 2.6% v 1.6%; P, .05, respectively); 44% in the guided group and 19% in the self-guided group met the 5% goal. Body composition and behavioral changes were also greater in the interventionist-guided group at both time points. Conclusion The study supports the efficacy of a community-based interventionist-guided weight loss program targeting AABCS. Although mean weight loss did not reach the targeted 5%, the mean loss of . 3% at 6 months is associated with improved health outcomes. Affordable, accessible health promotion programs represent a critical resource for AABCS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2820-2828
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Clinical Oncology
Issue number24
StatePublished - Aug 20 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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