Randomized Controlled Trial of a Volitional Help Sheet to Encourage Weight Loss in the Middle East

C J Armitage, Soud Alganem, Paul Norman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In the Middle East, the prevalence of overweight/obesity is 80%; however, no studies have yet tested the efficacy of interventions to promote weight loss. The aim of the present study was to test the ability of implementation intentions formed using a volitional help sheet to support weight loss among people who were overweight/obese. Participants (N = 216) enrolling in a weight loss program in Kuwait were randomly allocated either to form implementation intentions using a volitional help sheet (intervention group) or to use the volitional help sheet to think about critical situations and appropriate responses but not form implementation intentions (control group). The main outcome measure was weight at six-month follow-up. Participants in the intervention condition lost significantly more weight (6.15 kg; -6.58% initial body weight) than those in the control condition (3.66 kg; -4.04% initial body weight), Mdiff = 2.55% initial body weight, SEdiff = 0.92, t(214) = 2.76, p = .006, 95%CI = 0.73, 4.36, d = 0.38. The present study is the first to show that implementation intentions work beyond a Western context and that the volitional help sheet could be used in a variety of cultural contexts to enhance weight-loss programs.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages8
JournalPrevention Science
Early online date23 Jun 2017
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Brief intervention
  • volitional help sheet
  • health behavior change
  • Transtheoretical model
  • implementation intentions
  • Overweight

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Manchester Institute for Collaborative Research on Ageing


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