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J Clin Oncol. 2017 Aug 20;35(24):2820-2828. doi: 10.1200/JCO.2016.71.9856. Epub 2017 Jun 19.

Efficacy of a Weight Loss Intervention for African American Breast Cancer Survivors.

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Melinda Stolley, Anjishnu Banerjee, Alexis Visotcky, Lauren Matthews, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee WI; Patricia Sheean, Loyola University Chicago, Maywood; Ben Gerber, Claudia Arroyo, Linda Schiffer, Giamila Fantuzzi, Desmona Strahan, Roxanne Dakers, Katya Seligman, Sparkle Springfield, Angela Odoms-Young, Kent Hoskins, and Lisa Sharp, University of Illinois at Chicago; Cynthia Carridine-Andrews, Chicago Park District; Susan Hong, University of Chicago, Chicago IL; and Virginia Kaklamani, University of San Antonio, San Antonio TX.


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 (± standard deviation) age, and body mass index were 57.5 (± 10.1) years and 36.1 (± 6.2) kg/m2, 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.

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