Annals of Behavioral Medicine

, Volume 51, Issue 4, pp 555–566 | Cite as

Preventing Weight Gain Improves Sleep Quality Among Black Women: Results from a RCT

  • Dori M. Steinberg
  • Jacob Christy
  • Bryan C. Batch
  • Sandy Askew
  • Reneé H. Moore
  • Portia Parker
  • Gary G. Bennett
Original Article



Obesity and poor sleep are highly prevalent among Black women.


We examined whether a weight gain prevention intervention improved sleep among Black women.


We conducted a randomized trial comparing a 12-month weight gain prevention intervention that included self-monitoring through mobile technologies and phone coaching to usual care in community health centers. We measured sleep using the Medical Outcomes Study Sleep Scale at baseline, 12 months, and 18 months. The scale examines quantity of sleep, sleep disturbance, sleep adequacy, daytime somnolence, snoring, shortness of breath, and global sleep problems (sleep problem indices I and II).


Participants (n = 184) were on average 35.4 years and obese (BMI 30.2 kg/m2); 74% made <$30,000/year. At baseline, average sleep duration was 6.4 (1.5) hours. Controlling for weight change and sleep medication, the intervention group reported greater improvements in sleep disturbance [−8.35 (−16.24, −0.45)] and sleep problems at 12 months: sleep problem index I [−8.35 (−16.24, −0.45)]; sleep problem index II [−8.35 (−16.24, −0.45)]. However, these findings did not persist at 18 months.


Preventing weight gain may afford clinical benefit on improving sleep quality.

Trial Registration Number

The trial was registered with the database (NCT00938535)


Sleep Obesity Weight gain prevention Minority health Primary care Digital health 



We express deep gratitude to the administration and staff of Piedmont Health for their continued collaboration and participation in the Shape Program. Most importantly, we would especially like to thank the women who participated in Shape.

Compliance with Ethical Standards


This trial was funded by grant R01DK078798 from the National Institute for Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. D.M. Steinberg is supported by the Building Interdisciplinary Research Careers in Women’s Health (BIRCWH) Career Development award (K12HD043446-15). G.G. Bennett was supported by grant K22CA126992 from the National Cancer Institute. The funder had no role in the study design, data collection, data analysis, and interpretation of the data, in the writing of the report, and in the decision to submit the article for publication.

Authors’ Statement of Conflict of Interest and Adherence to Ethical Standards

Authors Dori Steinberg and Gary G. Bennett have equity in Scale Down, LLC, that produces mobile applications for weight loss. Dr. Bennett also has equity in Coeus Health and serves on Nutrisystem’s scientific advisory board. Authors Jacob Christy, Bryan C. Batch, Sandy Askew, Reneé H. Moore, and Portia Parker declare that they have no conflict of interest. All procedures, including the informed consent process, were conducted in accordance with the ethical standards of the responsible committee on human experimentation (institutional and national) and with the Helsinki Declaration of 1975, as revised in 2000.


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Copyright information

© The Society of Behavioral Medicine 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dori M. Steinberg
    • 1
  • Jacob Christy
    • 1
  • Bryan C. Batch
    • 2
  • Sandy Askew
    • 1
  • Reneé H. Moore
    • 3
  • Portia Parker
    • 4
  • Gary G. Bennett
    • 1
    • 5
  1. 1.Duke Global Digital Health Science CenterDuke Global Health InstituteDurhamUSA
  2. 2.Department of Medicine, Division of EndocrinologyDuke University Medical CenterDurhamUSA
  3. 3.Rollins School of Public HealthEmory UniversityAtlantaUSA
  4. 4.Quality User-driven Enterprise Software Testing (QUEST)SAS Institute, Inc.CaryUSA
  5. 5.Department of Psychology and NeuroscienceDuke UniversityDurhamUSA

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