We are not currently enrolling couples into this 2-year program, but we will begin again in January 2020.

If you would like to be put on the list to be contacted when we begin enrolling again in January, please go to the Contact Information Collection Form

Do you want to lose weight?
Are you ready to try something new?

Partner2Lose is a nutrition and weight loss study at the University of Wisconsin-Madison that will compare two ways for losing weight:

  1. Participating in a weight loss program alone OR
  2. Participating in a weight loss program with support from your spouse or life partner.

Who can participate?

You are:

  • 18-74 years old (partner is over 18)
  • currently overweight
  • living with a spouse or life partner who is willing to participate with you
  • not pregnant or breastfeeding

AND you and your partner:

  • are willing to participate with your partner in a 2-year, nutrition and weight loss program, including group classes and individual telephone calls
  • have individual smart phones with data and texting plans
    • you will each need your own texting plan so that the study team can send you text messages during the study
  • have individual email address and regular access to the internet

You and your partner will be assigned to one of two groups, either the “participant alone” or the “participant with partner” group. This assignment will be random like flipping a coin.

You will receive all classes and telephone calls at no cost to you. You will also receive a Fitbit watch ($60 value, one per couple) and a resistance exercise band.

Everyone who is interested is encouraged to complete the online screener to see if they meet eligibility requirements for the study.

What do I need to do to participate?

1. Complete an online screener to see if you and your partner are a good fit for the study.

2. Attend a one-hour, in-person enrollment visit with your partner with a Partner2Lose staff member. At this visit , you and your partner will first provide written consent. Then, you will have your height, weight and blood pressure measured (partner will not have a blood pressure taken). You both will be asked to complete surveys.

3. Attend group classes every two weeks for 6 months. You will attend the first group session by yourself and find out whether your partner will be attending subsequent sessions with you or if you will be attending them by yourself.

4. Participate in individual telephone calls. In months 7-12 you will receive one telephone call per month. In months 13-18 you will receive a telephone call every other month.

5. Attend in-person measurement visits with your partner every six months where you will have your weight measured and complete surveys. These visits will be scheduled at month 6, 12, 18 and 24. You will be paid $40 each at visits 6, 12 and 18 and $60 each at the 24 month measurement visit for a total of $180 each.

No matter which group you are in, both you and your partner will be paid for completing in-person measurement visits every 6 months.

Locations for in-person measurement visits will occur throughout Madison. You will be offered a choice that is convenient for you.

6. Complete surveys in months 3, 9, 15 and 21. You will receive a link to the surveys via e-mail so that you can complete them at home, on your own.

Summary of what your participation involves:

STUDY ACTIVITY: Group classes**
FREQUENCY: 16 classes; (Every 2 weeks in months 1-6 then once a month in months 7-9)
TIME: 2 hours each class
TOTAL: 32 hours
PAYMENT TO YOU: None – Class instruction is free
** Free childcare during group classes for ages 3 and over may be provided by request.

FREQUENCY: 9 phone calls; (Once a month in months 7-12, every other month in months 13-18)
TIME: 30 minutes each call
TOTAL: 4.5 hours
PAYMENT TO YOU: None – Call support is free

STUDY ACTIVITY: Measurement visits
FREQUENCY: Visits at 6, 12, 18 and 24 months
TIME: 30 minutes each visit
TOTAL: 2 hours
PAYMENT TO YOU: $180 for participant, $180 for partner, $360 total

See a visual representation of your study participation here: Partner2Lose Study Timeline for Participants

Need more information? Please contact Kate at

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