American Diabetes Association
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Identifying preferred features of weight loss programmes for adults with, or at risk of, type 2 diabetes: a discrete choice experiment with 3,960 adults in the UK

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posted on 2024-02-20, 21:51 authored by John Buckell, Caroline A Mitchell, Kate Fryer, Carolyn Newbert, Alan Brennan, Jack Joyce, Susan A Jebb, Paul Aveyard, Nicola Guess, Elizabeth Morris

Objective: To understand preferences for features of weight loss programmes among adults with, or at risk of, type 2 diabetes in the UK.

Research Design and Methods: A discrete choice experiment with 3,960 UK adults living with overweight, (675 with type 2 diabetes). Preferences for seven characteristics of weight loss programmes were analysed. Simulations from choice models using the experimental data predicted uptake of available weight loss programmes. Patient groups comprising those who have experience with weight loss programmes, including from minority communities, informed the experimental design.

Results: Preferences did not differ between people with or without type 2 diabetes. Preferences were strongest for the type of diet. Healthy eating was most preferred relative to total diet replacement (TDR) (OR=2.24, 95%CI: 2.04-2.44). Individual interventions were more popular than groups (OR=1.40, 95%CI: 1.34-1.47). People preferred programmes offering weight loss of 10-15 kg (OR=1.37, 95%CI: 1.28-1.47) compared with 2-5kg. Online content was preferred over in-person contacts (OR=1.24, 95%CI: 1.18-1.30). There were few differences in preferences by gender and ethnicity though weight loss was more important for women than for men, and individuals from ethnic minority populations identified more with programmes where others shared their characteristics. Modelling suggested that tailoring programmes to individual preferences could increase participation by around 17 percentage points (68% in relative terms).

Conclusions: Offering a range of weight loss programmes targeting the preferred attributes of different patient groups could potentially encourage more people to participate in weight loss programmes and support people living with overweight to reduce their weight.


The research was co-funded by the National Institute for Health and Care Research and Diabetes UK for a Programme Grant for Applied Research. Grant number NIHR202860.


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