Navigation Links
Online weight loss programs that feature successful dieters may help

A Web-based program featuring successful strategies of others who have lost weight may be an effective strategy for weight loss, according to Penn State College of Medicine researchers.

Researchers created a website called AchieveTogether and evaluated the weight-loss success of users. They compared users with a group of people attempting to lose weight on their own, and then allowed that second group access to the site 12 weeks later.

"Internet-based weight loss programs could help address the obesity epidemic, as they can be widely shared and used with low costs," said Jennifer L. Kraschnewski, M.D., M.P.H., assistant professor of medicine and public health sciences. "Existing Internet-based weight-loss strategies have largely promoted weight-loss strategies designed by health professionals, including goal-setting and features to promote social interaction. These programs have had modest short-term effects, suggesting that exploring alternative approaches may be beneficial."

The researchers used positive deviance to design their Web-based program. Positive deviance is the idea that solutions to problems exist within a population experiencing that problem. By generalizing what behaviors or approaches work for those who are most successful -- typically the top 10 percent strategies are developed that may help the general population achieve certain goals.

"Positive deviance has been used in diverse health-related interventions, but has not previously been used in weight-loss interventions," Kraschnewski said.

For AchieveTogether, users were educated on 36 weight-loss behaviors identified in a previous study of people who maintained a weight loss of at least 30 pounds. These behaviors were evaluated by a physician for safety.

Participants logged in to the site at least once a week and were asked to record their weight, height and frequency of using the weight loss practices. They were matched to three role models closest to them for gender, age and target body weight and could then view their role model's strategies for weight loss.

Participants developed a weight-loss plan by choosing as many of the strategies as they wanted and were encouraged to choose at least one.

"At each log in, participants received tailored feedback to help them choose which practices to keep doing or learned ways to adapt them based on their own activity," Kraschnewski said.

Users of the AchieveTogether website lost about 4.5 pounds more weight than the control group. Results were published in American Journal of Preventative Medicine.

"While this is modest weight loss, it is in the range we have seen for other Internet-based weight loss programs, including those with more human contact," Kraschnewski said. "Because AchieveTogether, or a similar program, can be offered free, it could increase physician referrals for weight management and be a cost effective way to promote weight loss on a public health scale."

Future research will look at how to increase engagement with the website, examine individual characteristics associated with different outcomes and explore best how to use the experience of a diverse group to build a more complete program of weight loss interventions and management.

Contact: Matthew Solovey
Penn State

Related medicine news :

1. New online portal, app provide information on tsunami zones in the Northwest
2. Being Ignored Feels Just as Bad Online
3. Online Tool Could Diagnose Autism Quickly, Developers Say
4. Online Dating Scams Can Take Emotional, Financial Toll
5. Annals of Internal Medicine tip sheet for May 8, 2012, online issue
6. Data release from the Allen Institute for Brain Science expands online atlas offerings
7. Vendors in Nevada, Michigan, & Illinois to be Featured on the Online Network
8. Annals of Internal Medicine tip sheet for June 19, 2012, online issue
9. Tree nut consumption associated with lower body weight and lower prevalence of health risks
10. Even Preschoolers View the Overweight Negatively
11. Weight-Loss Surgery Beat Drugs for Cutting Diabetes in Very Obese
Post Your Comments:
(Date:6/27/2016)... ... , ... recently awarded their highest five-star rating to Best Buy Eyeglasses, ... the United States and Canada wear eyeglasses. Once considered to be a purely functional ... a fashion statement. Even celebrities use glasses as a way of creating an iconic ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... 26, 2016 , ... Pixel Film Studios Released ProSlice Levels, a Media Slicing ... their videos a whole new perspective by using the title layers in ProSlice ... , ProSlice Levels contains over 30 Different presets to choose from. FCPX ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... Lake Orion, Clarkston, Michigan (PRWEB) , ... June ... ... direction with respect to fertility once they have been diagnosed with endometriosis. These ... tolerable intercourse but they also require a comprehensive approach that can help for ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... ... of Bruton Memorial Library on June 21 due to a possible lice infestation, as reported ... head lice: the parasite’s ability to live away from a human host, and to infest ... in the event that lice have simply gotten out of control. , As lice are ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... 2016 , ... As a lifelong Southern Californian, Dr. Omkar Marathe earned his ... David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. He trained in Internal Medicine at Scripps ... in hematology/oncology at the UCLA-Olive View-Cedars Sinai program where he had the opportunity to ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... , June 24, 2016   Bay ... Rehabilitation Network,s Dean Center for Tick Borne ... Medicine and Rehabilitation, MIT Hacking Medicine, University of ... Innovation, today announced the five finalists of ... Lyme disease.  More than 100 scientists, clinicians, researchers, ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... , June 24, 2016 ... of the "Structural Electronics 2015-2025: Applications, Technologies, ... In-Mold Electronics, Smart Skin, ... Photovoltaics Structural electronics involves electronic ... load-bearing, protective structures, replacing dumb structures such as ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... 2016 Dehaier Medical Systems Ltd. (NASDAQ: ... markets and sells medical devices and wearable sleep respiratory ... strategic cooperation agreement with Hongyuan Supply Chain Management Co., ... June 20, 2016, to develop Dehaier,s new Internet medical ... Dehaier will leverage Hongyuan Supply Chain,s sales platform to ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: