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 (partner only participates in data collection visits) OR
  2. Participating in a weight loss program with support from your spouse or life partner (partner attends classes and data collection visits).

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

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

Who can participate?

You must have a partner to participate in this research study.

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.

In the “participant alone” group, ONLY you will participate in the classes and do the phone calls. In the “participant with partner” group you will attend classes and do the phone calls together with your partner. Partners will complete data collection visits no matter which group you are assigned to.

You will not know in advance which group you are assigned to.

    You will find out which group you are assigned to at the first class in March.

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 (one for you and one for your partner, see link at bottom of the page) to see if you and your partner are a good fit for the study. You will not be able to move on in the study enrollment process until both you and your partner have completed the online screening.

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.

Locations of the group classes for classes that will start in March 2020 (Classes are full):

Wingra Clinic: 1102 S. Park St., Madison, WI 53715 – Tuesdays at 4:30 pm and 6:30 pm, no childcare provided

Bethany United Methodist Church: 3910 Mineral Point Rd, Madison, WI 53705 – Thursdays at 4:30 and 6:30 pm, limited childcare available

You will attend classes at the site you select. Both you and your partner will need to be available for both the 4:30 pm AND the 6:30 pm start time for the day/site you select, as we will not know which class you will be assigned to ahead of time. After you are enrolled, you will be assigned to ONE of the start times at the site you select. At the classes, you will learn about nutrition and physical activity.

All locations are on a public bus line, and there is public parking near the buildings. You are responsible for transportation to/from study group classes and in-person measurement visits.

The classes will begin in March 2020.

Check out the March 2020 group class sites and schedules.

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 at Bethany United Methodist Church.

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

Ready to see if you’re a good fit?

When we are enrolling the online screener will be live. We are not currently enrolling participants.

Both your partner and you will need to complete an online screener to see if you are able to participate in the study. You will need to complete your part first. Once you have completed your part, your partner will be emailed a link to their online screener.

Need more information? Please contact Kate at