Using Internet Technology to Deliver a Behavioral Weight Loss Program

Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Блэксбург, Virginia, United States
JAMA The Journal of the American Medical Association (Impact Factor: 35.29). 04/2001; 285(9):1172-7. DOI: 10.1001/jama.285.9.1172
Source: PubMed


Rapid increases in access to the Internet have made it a viable mode for public health intervention. No controlled studies have evaluated this resource for weight loss.
To determine whether a structured Internet behavioral weight loss program produces greater initial weight loss and changes in waist circumference than a weight loss education Web site.
Randomized, controlled trial conducted from April to December 1999.
Ninety-one healthy, overweight adult hospital employees aged 18 to 60 years with a body mass index of 25 to 36 kg/m(2). Analyses were performed for the 65 who had complete follow-up data.
Participants were randomly assigned to a 6-month weight loss program of either Internet education (education; n = 32 with complete data) or Internet behavior therapy (behavior therapy; n = 33 with complete data). All participants were given 1 face-to-face group weight loss session and access to a Web site with organized links to Internet weight loss resources. Participants in the behavior therapy group received additional behavioral procedures, including a sequence of 24 weekly behavioral lessons via e-mail, weekly online submission of self-monitoring diaries with individualized therapist feedback via e-mail, and an online bulletin board.
Body weight and waist circumference, measured at 0, 3, and 6 months, compared the 2 intervention groups.
Repeated-measures analyses showed that the behavior therapy group lost more weight than the education group (P =.005). The behavior therapy group lost a mean (SD) of 4.0 (2.8) kg by 3 months and 4.1 (4.5) kg by 6 months. Weight loss in the education group was 1.7 (2.7) kg at 3 months and 1.6 (3.3) kg by 6 months. More participants in the behavior therapy than education group achieved the 5% weight loss goal (45% vs 22%; P =.05) by 6 months. Changes in waist circumference were also greater in the behavior therapy group than in the education group at both 3 months (P =.001) and 6 months (P =.005).
Participants who were given a structured behavioral treatment program with weekly contact and individualized feedback had better weight loss compared with those given links to educational Web sites. Thus, the Internet and e-mail appear to be viable methods for delivery of structured behavioral weight loss programs.

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    • "in the mediation analysis were Akers, Cornett, Savla, Davy, and Davy (2012); Boutelle, Kirschenbaum, Baker, and Mitchell (1999);Chambliss et al. (2011);Cussler et al. (2008);Duran et al. (2010); Gokee LaRose, Gorin, and Wing (2009); Hellerstedt and Jeffery (1997, behavior-focused phone group),Helsel et al. (2007); Kempf, Tankova, and Martin (2013);Kraschnewski et al. (2011);Morgan et al. (2009); Nguyen, Gill, Wolpin, Steele, and Benditt (2009);Pellegrini et al. (2012); Runyan, Steenbergh, Bainbridge, Daugherty, Oke, and Fry (2013);Samuel-Hodge et al. (2009);Tate et al. (2001); Tan, Maganee, Chee, Lee, and Tan (2011);Wang, Sereika, Chasens, Ewing, Matthews, and Burke (2012); Webber, Tate, Ward, and Bowling (2010), and Wing, Crane, Thomas, Kumar, and Weinberg (2010). These 20 studies did not differ significantly from excluded studies in terms of their reported effect on goal attainment (d 0.44 and 0.39, respectively), Q(1) 0.71, p .40, but did tend to report smaller effects on the frequency of progress monitoring (d 1.51) than excluded studies (d 2.06), Q(1) 83.47, p .001. "
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