Citation Gill D, Blunt W, Cruz Ad, Riggin B, Hunt K, Zou G, Sibbald S, Danylchuk K, Zwarenstein M, Gray C, Wyke S, Bunn C & Petrella RJ (2016) Hockey Fans in Training (Hockey FIT) pilot study protocol: A gender-sensitized weight loss and healthy lifestyle program for overweight and obese male hockey fans. BMC Public Health, 16 (1), Art. No.: 1096. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12889-016-3730-5
Effective approaches that engage men in weight loss and lifestyle change are important because of worldwide increases, including in Canada, in obesity and chronic diseases. Football Fans in Training (FFIT), developed in Scotland, successfully tackled these problems by engaging overweight/obese male football fans in sustained weight loss and positive health behaviours, through program deliveries at professional football stadia.
Aims: 1) Adapt FFIT to hockey within the Canadian context and integrate with HealtheSteps™ (evidence-based lifestyle program) to develop Hockey Fans in Training (Hockey FIT); 2) Explore potential for Hockey FIT to help overweight/obese men lose weight and improve other outcomes by 12 weeks, and retain these improvements to 12 months; 3) Evaluate feasibility of recruiting and retaining overweight/obese men; 4) Evaluate acceptability of Hockey FIT; and 5) Conduct program optimization via a process evaluation. We conducted a two-arm pilot pragmatic randomized controlled trial (pRCT) whereby 80 overweight/obese male hockey fans (35-65 years; body-mass index ≥28 kg/m2) were recruited through their connection to two junior A hockey teams (London and Sarnia, ON) and randomized to Intervention (Hockey FIT) or Comparator (Wait-List Control). Hockey FIT includes a 12-week Active Phase (classroom instruction and exercise sessions delivered weekly by trained coaches) and a 40-week Maintenance Phase. Data collected at baseline and 12 weeks (both groups), and 12 months (Intervention only), will inform evaluation of the potential of Hockey FIT to help men lose weight and improve other health outcomes. Feasibility and acceptability will be assessed using data from self-reports at screening and baseline, program fidelity (program observations and coach reflections), participant focus group discussions, coach interviews, as well as program questionnaires and interviews with participants. This information will be analyzed to inform program optimization.
Hockey FIT is a gender-sensitive program designed to engage overweight/obese male hockey fans to improve physical activity and healthy eating choices, thereby leading to weight loss and other positive changes in health outcomes. We expect this study to provide evidence for a full-scale confirmatory pRCT.
Trial registration: NCT02396524 (Clinicaltrials.gov). Date of registration: Feb 26, 2015.
Keywords Overweight/Obese men; Lifestyle intervention; Health promotion; Hockey; Sport fan; Masculinity; Health technology; Weight loss; Physical activity; Healthy eating