Everyone who participates will receive a free Fitbit, and, for free, a lifestyle-change program that can cost upwards of $500.
Many who set goals for the new year place top priority on becoming healthier. Now a national study can help take the guesswork and expense out of accomplishing a more active lifestyle. University of Missouri-Kansas City is one of five research sites in the U.S. for this study, which focuses on helping those at risk for metabolic syndrome.
UMKC is looking for participants.
Metabolic syndrome is a bundle of risk factors caused by common lifestyle choices that can lead to serious conditions such as diabetes, stroke, heart disease and cancer. Currently, one-third of Americans have metabolic syndrome, up from one-fourth a decade ago.
For this study, a “self-directed” program will be compared to a group-based program, with the best lifestyle information available in clinical practice today provided in both.
Everyone in the self-directed arm will be assigned to a coordinator, and will receive a Fitbit activity tracker, access to the program’s website and monthly tip sheets for six months.
In the group-based program, participants will get most of those things, too. But instead of the tip sheet, group members will meet for an hour and a half weekly for three months, biweekly for an additional three months, and monthly for 18 months after that. They will also have access to the ELM website. They will learn, for example, to distinguish when they are eating because they are hungry from when they turn to food because it is available or they are bored or sad.
Participants in the study must be age 18 years or older, not have diabetes, speak English, be willing to commit to a healthy lifestyle and have at least three of metabolic syndrome’s five risk factors:
Central fat (waist circumference of 40 inches or more for men, 35 inches or more for women)
High blood pressure
High blood sugar
Low HDL cholesterol
A condition of enrollment is a willingness to participate in either arm of the trial. Participants will not get to choose. To participate in the Kansas City area, e-mail ELMtrial@tmcmed.org or call Alex Lyon at 816-404-4418.