Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Social and Behavioral Health

First Advisor

Jessica Gokee LaRose

Second Advisor

Melissa Crane

Third Advisor

Maria Thomson

Fourth Advisor

Ronald Evans

Fifth Advisor

Robert Perera

Sixth Advisor

Kellie Carlyle



Lifestyle intervention is the first line treatment for obesity. Yet, young men are underrepresented in lifestyle interventions, which is posited to be the result of unmet needs and overall low concern for weight management. The aims of this dissertation are to:

Papers 1 and 2: Test the preliminary efficacy, feasibility, and acceptability of a self-guided lifestyle intervention for young men.

Paper 3: Explore the behavioral and physiological factors associated with changes in adiposity among young men and women enrolled in a more intensive lifestyle intervention.


Papers 1 and 2: The self-guided intervention produced modest weight loss at 3-months compared to slight gains in the control group (-1.6%vs. +0.31, p=0.04). Young men found the health risk focus as a motivator for joining the program, along with the age and gender focus. There was some variation in preferences by treatment response, specifically for delivery (in-person vs. online).

Paper 3: Young men exhibited greater reductions in adiposity compared to women at 3-months (all p’s


A self-guided approach to weight loss, paired with an age- and gender-targeted program, might enhance enrollment and initial engagement of young men in lifestyle interventions. To improve the clinical significance of a self-guided lifestyle intervention among young men, additional evidence-based components are warranted.


© Jean M. Reading

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Date of Submission