Long-term retention in an employer-based, commercial weight-loss programme

E. Alexander, E. Tseng, N. Durkin, G. J. Jerome, A. Dalcin, L. J. Appel, J. M. Clark, K. A. Gudzune

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


The aim of this study is to examine factors associated with long-term retention in a commercial weight-loss programme. We conducted a retrospective analysis of an employer-based, commercial programme from 2013 to 2016. Our dependent variable was ‘long-term retention’, defined as continuously enrolled participants who actively engaged through coach calls at 6 and 12 months. Independent variables included baseline demographics, programme engagement and weight change. We conducted multivariate logistic regression analyses assessing for differences in long-term retention by several factors, adjusted for employer clustering. Overall, 68.3% were retained at 6% and 45.9% at 12 months. Greater number of coach calls and website logins during the first 3 months significantly increased the odds of long-term retention, while having chronic conditions significantly decreased the odds. Weight-loss success (≥5% loss at 6 months) was significantly associated with increased odds of retention (12-month: odds ratio [OR] 2.80, P < 0.001), while early weight-loss failure (≥0% weight change at 1 month) significantly decreased odds of retention (12-month: OR 0.66, P = 0.008). In an employer-based, commercial weight loss programme, greater early programme engagement was associated with long-term retention. Given these programmes’ popularity and potential reach, our results could be used to develop and test strategies designed to improve retention in commercial weight-loss programmes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere12284
JournalClinical obesity
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2019


  • Commercial weight-loss programme
  • retention

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism


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