Effect of a Peer-led Lifestyle Intervention on Individuals With Normal Weight Obesity: Insights From the Kerala Diabetes Prevention Program

Nitin Kapoor, Mojtaba Lotfaliany, Thirunavukkarasu Sathish, Kavumpurathu R. Thankappan, Robyn J. Tapp, Nihal Thomas, John Furler, Brian Oldenburg

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    20 Citations (Scopus)


    Purpose: Normal weight obesity (NWO) is a unique phenotype of obesity associated with high cardiovascular mortality. There is limited literature on assessing the effect of therapeutic interventions on the cardiometabolic health of these individuals. We studied the effect of a peer-led lifestyle intervention on key cardiometabolic parameters (blood glucose, blood pressure, and plasma lipids) in individuals with NWO. Methods: This study is a secondary data analysis of the Kerala Diabetes Prevention Program, a cluster-randomized controlled study that involves a peer-led, real-life lifestyle intervention for individuals from the community between the ages of 30 and 60 years with a high diabetes risk. Participants underwent a rigorous cardiometabolic evaluation at baseline and at 2-year follow-up. Findings: A total of 292 recruited individuals with NWO were randomized into the intervention (n = 159) and control (n = 133) arms. At 2 years of follow-up, there was minimal but statistically significant improvement in systolic blood pressure and serum HDL level in the intervention arm, but no statistical difference was seen in other lipid and glycemic parameters. Implications: This study provides early evidence of the effect of a lifestyle intervention in a cohort of individuals with NWO. Only systolic blood pressure and serum HDL level had a mild favorable change in the intervention arm when compared with the control arm.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1618-1624
    Number of pages7
    JournalClinical Therapeutics
    Issue number8
    Publication statusPublished - 25 Jul 2020


    The KDPP was funded by the National Health and Medical Research Council, Australia (project grant 1005324). Nitin Kapoor was supported by the ENCORE (Excellence in Noncommunicable Disease Research Between Australian and India) programme for his PhD, funded by the University of Melbourne. Thirunavukkarasu Sathish was supported by the ASian Collaboration for Excellence in Non-Communicable Disease (ASCEND) program, funded by the Fogarty International Centre of the National Institutes of Health under award D43TW008332.


    • lifestyle intervention
    • normal weight obesity
    • South Asian phenotype
    • thin-fat phenotype

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Pharmacology
    • Pharmacology (medical)


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