Nutrition and Lifestyle Behavior Peer support Program for Adults with Metabolic Syndrome: Outcomes and Lessons Learned from a Feasibility Trial


Amutha Ramadas


Senior Lecturer

Faculty of Medical & Life Sciences

Monash University

Key Takeaways

    How To Apply Insights

    • The success of community interventions depends on the relationship between the person conducting the program and the participants. Shared life experiences and relatability is better than a patient/doctor relationship.
    • Communities with limited healthcare facilities should consider this type of intervention, as little technology needed.
    • Community clinics and centres should promote community health interventions, especially for pre-conditions and lifestyle/preventative health care.

    Findings & Research Conclusions

    This study was part of a feasibility trial for a community health support program for adults with metabolic syndrome.

    Leaders from the community with metabolic syndrome were trained to deliver the intervention. The training included leadership and interpersonal skills, and the content itself. Some of the sessions were included in the briefing given, for example educating about physical activity, but the leaders were given responsibility to carry these out. The group went on to organise Zumba sessions and other activities that were not part of the core program.

    The participants consisted of a small group (48) study of middle ages people at risk of metabolic syndrome. They were assessed before the trial and weekly in the group in a range of measurements relating to metabolic syndrome.

    Certain aspects of the participants diet and lifestyle changed over the course of the program as a result of the information given: eating more slowly, less binge eating, less late eating, more breakfasts, less smoking, better sleep.

    The community-led approach created a positive environment for participation. Malaysian community culture positively contributed to this, with members particularly enjoying the teamwork aspects.

    Research's methodology

    Intervention was based on a cross-sectional study consisting of a focus group discussion with committee members. Clinical practice guidelines, review papers and results from the cross-sectional study were used to design the program.


    The applicability of these findings to other cultures/areas is unknown, as only one community was investigated. The study duration was not long enough to obtain reliable clinical results.

    Metabolic syndromeComposite of 5 different conditions: blood pressure, triglyceride levels, blood glucose levels, low hdl & abdominal obesity. A person with problematic levels of 3 of these conditions has metabolic syndrome.
    Peer supportA non-hierarchical support system where the leader is a peer who also has the conditionis a p

    Reference this research

    Mahadzir, M.D.A.; Quek, K.F.; Ramadas, A. Nutrition and Lifestyle Behavior Peer Support Program for Adults with Metabolic Syndrome: Outcomes and Lessons Learned from a Feasibility Trial. Nutrients 2020, 12, 1091.

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