Diabetes Prevention, Weight Loss, and Social Support: Program Participants' Perceived Influence on the Health Behaviors of Their Social Support System

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Abstract

This study examined participants' perceptions of how their involvement in a well-established weight loss and diabetes prevention program influenced their social support persons (SSPs). Utilizing a mixed-methods approach, participants were surveyed to determine their perceived influence on SSPs. Compared to controls, intervention participants reported that SSPs' lifestyle changes were more positively influenced by their study participation, and their amount of weight loss was related to favorability of perceived changes in SSPs' eating habits. Themes of lifestyle changes, knowledge dissemination, and motivation emerged from responses. Future lifestyle change interventions could potentially capitalize on program participants' influence on their social support networks.

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