Download Full Text (552 KB)


PURPOSE: The increasing prevalence of obesity urgently requires effective management strategies. This study evaluates the effectiveness of Jefferson Weight Loss Program (JeffWLP), a trained medical student-delivered health education program in a predominantly African-American patient cohort.

METHODS: A randomized controlled trial was performed enrolling 30 patients with an average socioeconomic status of 5.8 (10 maximum). The intervention group (n=18) completed JeffWLP, a low-cost, 12-week health coaching program combining education sessions with graded step exercises. The control group (n=12) received usual care. Mean baseline age, BMI, and General Nutritional Knowledge Questionnaire (GNKQ) scores were: 46±13 years, 38±5, and 14.7±1.9 (maximum score=17) respectively.

RESULTS: Patients completing JeffWLP achieved greater weight loss, with mean weight loss of 6.1±7.8 pounds (p=0.01) compared to 4.4±7.5 pounds weight gain in controls (p=0.14). This corresponded to 2.7±3.3% weight reduction (p=0.01) and 2.0±3.5% weight gain (p=0.15). Mean endpoint GNKQ scores decreased overall slightly to 14.5±1.9, but improvement correlated with total, group, and 1:1 class attendance (R=0.81, 0.75, 0.77, p=0.0004, 0.002, 0.001 respectively).

CONCLUSIONS: The significant weight reduction of 2.7±3.3% achieved in just 12 weeks of JeffWLP suggests meaningful progress towards improving cardiovascular health. Correlation of GNKQ scores to attendance suggests that patients acquired knowledge facilitating these positive outcomes. Our results support the establishment of student-delivered patient education programs to help combat the obesity epidemic.

Publication Date



diet, weight loss, nutrition


Medicine and Health Sciences


Presented at the 2024 AOA Research Symposium.

The Effectiveness of JeffWLP for Weight Loss and General Nutritional Knowledge in Obese Patients