Send to

Choose Destination
Health Psychol. 2018 Oct;37(10):929-939. doi: 10.1037/hea0000665.

Development of a lifestyle intervention for the metabolic syndrome: Discovery through proof-of-concept.

Author information

Department of Preventive Medicine, Rush University Medical Center.
Department of Neurology, Center for Circadian and Sleep Medicine, Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University.
Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research.
Department of Psychiatry, Rush University Medical Center.
Department of Medicine, Rush University Medical Center.



The aim was to describe the early phases of the progressive development of a lifestyle treatment for sustained remission of the metabolic syndrome (MetS) using the Obesity-Related Behavioral Intervention Trials (ORBIT) model for behavioral treatment development as a guide.


Early discovery and design phases produced a 3-component (diet, physical activity, stress), group-based lifestyle treatment with an intensive 6-month phase followed by monthly, participant-led maintenance meetings. In the proof-of-concept phase, 26 participants with the MetS (age 53 ± 7 years, 77% female, and 65% ethnic minority) were recruited in a quasi-experimental design to determine if treatment could achieve the prespecified benchmark of MetS remission in ≥50% at 2.5 years. Exploratory outcomes focused on MetS components, weight, and patient-centered benefits on energy/vitality and psychosocial status.


MetS remission was achieved in 53.8% after a median of 2.5 years. At 2.5 years, an increase of +15.4% reported eating ≥3 servings of vegetables/day, +7.7% engaged in ≥150 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity/week; and +11.5% reported experiencing no depression in the past 2 weeks. Weight loss ≥5% was achieved by 38.5%, and energy/vitality, negative affect, and social support improved. Median group attendance over 2.5 years was 73.8%.


It is plausible that this lifestyle program can produce a remission in the MetS, sustained through 2.5 years. After refinements to enhance precision and strength, progression to feasibility pilot testing and a randomized clinical trial will determine its efficacy as a cost-effective lifestyle option for managing the MetS in the current health care system. (PsycINFO Database Record

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for American Psychological Association
Loading ...
Support Center