Clinical Effectiveness of the LE3AN Program: A Military Healthy Lifestyle Program

  • Jay E. Earles
  • Burton Kerr
  • Larry C. James
  • Raymond A. Folen
Original Paper


For several decades, obesity has been a major health concern within the general population of the United States as well as within the unique military population. Unlike the civilian sector, military service requires individuals to meet weight and body fat standards. In order to assist overweight military personnel return to standards, Tripler Army Medical Center initiated the LE3AN Program. LE3AN is a one-week, day-treatment, cognitive-behavioral weight management program coupled with 12 months of weekly follow-up. Baseline data was collected on 387 consecutive participants. Despite physical fitness training and required standards in each military service, the average BMIs for men and women were in the obese range, with male participants’ BMIs significantly higher than women’s (34.3 vs 31.9, p<.005). One year outcome data was collected from 167 participants, i.e. 43.2% of treatment initiators. Among participants who completed treatment, men maintained a 6.56% loss of their initial weight while women maintained a 7.35% loss. Over a quarter, 26.6%, of those who started the program (but did not complete it) maintained at least a 5% weight loss at one year, while 61.6% of treatment completers maintained 5% weight losses.


Obesity Behavior therapy 


  1. Bathalon, G. P., McGraw, S. M., Friedl, K. E., & Young, A. J. (2004). BMI and obesity in the U.S. Army. Obesity Research, 12, 172.Google Scholar
  2. Bray, R. M., Laurel, L., Hourani, L. L., Rae, K. L., Dever, J. A., Brown, J. M., et al. (2002). 2002 HIGHLIGHTS Department of Defense Survey of Health Related Behaviors Among Military Personnel. Available from DoDSurvey.Google Scholar
  3. Davis, M. (1996). A comprehensive weight-loss program for soldiers. Military Medicine, 161, 84–88.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. Finkelstein, E. A., Fiebelkorn, I. C., & Wang, G. (2003). National medical spending attributable to overweight and obesity: How much, and who’s paying? Health Affairs, W3, 219–226.Google Scholar
  5. Hoiberg, A., & McNally, M. S. (1991). Profiling overweight patients in the U.S. Navy. Military Medicine, 156, 76–92.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. Hudson, N. (1996, February 5). Numbers show military is room with many exits. Army Times. p. 6.Google Scholar
  7. James, L. C., Folen, R. A., & Earles, J. E. (2001). Behavioral telehealth applications in the treatment of obese soldiers: A feasibility project and a report on preliminary findings. Military Psychology, 13, 177–186.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. James, L. C., Folen, R. A., Garland, F. N., & Davis, M. (1997). New frontiers for clinical health psychologists: Our leadership role in inpatient weight management programs. Professional Psychology: Research & Practice, 28, 146–152.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. James, L. C., Folen, R. A., & Noce, M. (1998). A healthy lifestyle program for the treatment of obesity in minority men. Journal of Clinical Psychology in Medical Settings, 53, 259–273.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. James, L. C., Folen, R. A., Noce, M., Page, H., Brown, J., & Britton, C. (1999). The Tripler LE3AN program: A two-year follow-up report. Military Medicine, 164, 389–395.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. Kumanyika, S. K., Obarzanek, E., Stevens, V. J., Hebert, P. R., & Whelton, P. K. (1991). Weight-loss experience of black and white participants in NHLBI- sponsored clinical trials. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 53, 1631S–1638S.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. McTigue, K. M., Harris, R., Hemphill, B., Lux, L., Sutton, S., Bunton, A. J., et al. (2003). Screening and interventions for obesity in adults: Summary of the evidence for the US Preventive Services Task Force. Annals of Internal Medicine, 139, 933–949.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. Mokdad, A. H., Ford, E. S., Bowman, B. A., Dietz, W. H., Vinicor, F., Bales, V. S., et al. (2003). Prevalence of obesity, diabetes and obesity-related health risk factors, 2001. Journal of the American Medical Association, 289, 76–79.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Ogden, C. L., Carroll, M. D., Curtin, L. R., McDowell, M. A., Tabak, C. J., & Flegal, K. M. (2006). Prevalence of overweight and obesity in the United States, 1999–2004. Journal of the American Medical Association, 295, 1549–1555.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Simpson, M., Earles, J., Folen, R., Trammel, R., & James, L. C. (2004). The Tripler Army Medical Center’s LE3AN Program: A six - month retrospective analysis of program effectiveness for African American and European American females. Journal of the National Medical Association, 96, 1332–1336.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. Trent, L., & Stevens, L. (1993). Survey of the navy’s three-tiered obesity treatment program. Military Medicine, 158, 614–619.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. Trent, L., & Stevens, L. (1995). Evaluation of the navy’s obesity treatment program. Military Medicine, 160, 326–330.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  18. Troumbley, P. F., Burman, K. D., Rinke, W. J., & Lenz, E. R. (1990). A comparison of the health risk, health status, self-motivation, psychological symptomatic distress, and physical fitness of overweight and normal-weight soldiers. Military Medicine, 155, 424–429.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  19. Wadden, T. A., & Butryn, M. L. (2003). Behavioral treatment of obesity. Endocrinology and Metabolism Clinics of North America, 32, 981–1003.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Wolf, A. M., & Colditz, G. A. (1998). Current estimates of the economic cost of obesity in the United States. Obesity Research, 6, 97–106.PubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jay E. Earles
    • 1
  • Burton Kerr
    • 2
  • Larry C. James
    • 3
  • Raymond A. Folen
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyEisenhower Army Medical CenterFt. GordonUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyMadigan Army Medical CenterFt. LewisUSA
  3. 3.Department of PsychologyTripler Army Medical CenterHonoluluUSA

Personalised recommendations