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Pitt researcher receives NIH funding for technology-enhanced weight-loss program
Date:11/30/2010

PITTSBURGHObesity! It's a national epidemic and on the rise in young adults. Using technology to combat this problem, the University of Pittsburgh Physical Activity and Weight Management Research Center will offer the IDEA (Innovative Approaches to Diet, Exercise, and Activity) study, one of seven clinical trials to be funded by the National Institutes of Health's (NIH) National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.

NIH's Early Adult Reduction of Weight through Lifestyle Intervention (EARLY) Trials seek to prevent weight gain and promote weight loss among young adultsages 18 to 35through healthy eating and physical activity. Few studies have examined how to effectively engage this high-risk age group in achieving and maintaining a healthy weight. A total of $36 million will fund the seven trials over a five-year period.

Conducted at universities throughout the United States, the trials will incorporate such technologies as text messaging, online social networking, and Bluetooth-enabled scales as part of their weight-loss efforts.

"We're really excited about using technology to enhance our weight-loss and physical-activity studies," said John Jakicic, professor and chair of the Department of Health and Physical Activity in Pitt's School of Education and director of the Physical Activity and Weight Management Research Center at Pitt. "We think these technology enhancements will significantly improve this age group's overall health."

Pitt's IDEA program will test whether an enhanced weight-loss intervention with the use of text messaging reminders and wearable exercise monitors improves weight loss in young adults compared to a standard behavioral weight-loss intervention. Researchers will examine these interventions on changes in body composition, body-fat distribution, fitness, physical activity, dietary intake, and behavioral/psychosocial measures that may be predictive of behavior change.

Pitt's IDEA study will involve
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Contact: Patricia Lomando White
laer@pitt.edu
412-624-9101
University of Pittsburgh
Source:Eurekalert

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