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Body Monitors Deliver Better Weight Loss Results at Half the Cost: Study to Be Presented at ACSM Meeting
Date:5/30/2012

SAN FRANCISCO, May 30, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- The use of an armband-based body monitoring system proved to be the most cost-effective of four approaches to weight loss examined by researchers in an analysis that will be presented at the American College of Sports Medicine's 59th Annual Meeting and 3rd World Congress on Exercise is Medicine this week in San Francisco. The study, "An Economic Analysis of Traditional and Technology-Based Approaches to Weight Loss: LEAN Study Cost-Effectiveness," calculated the cost of all four approaches in terms of the ratio of weight loss to staff time and materials.  The cost for armband users was $51 per participant per kilogram lost – less than half of the $129 associated with group weight loss education.

The principal investigator of the study was Steven N. Blair, Professor, Department of Exercise Science and Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Arnold School of Health, at the University of South Carolina. Detailed results will be presented in an upcoming issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

The analysis was based on the same team's earlier randomized controlled trial of 197 sedentary, overweight and obese adults comparing the use of standard care, group weight loss education, a multi-sensor armband, and the use of an armband in conjunction with group weight loss education. In that study, known as the Lifestyle Education for Activity and Nutrition (LEAN) study, groups using an armband were equipped with the BodyMedia® armband body monitoring system from BodyMedia, Inc. 

The LEAN study showed that participants using BodyMedia's wearable body monitoring technology either with a group weight loss program or as part of their own self-directed program lost three times more weight than individuals who attempted to battle the bulge solo. The cost analysis of the same data that will be presented at the ACSM conference revealed that:

  • Use of the armband alone, with no follow-on counseling, was less expensive than group weight loss education alone while also yielding greater weight loss.
  • Combining the armband with group weight loss education yielded the greatest weight loss per participant but increased costs by $60 per participant for each additional kilogram lost because of the incremental cost of group intervention staffing.
  • Standard care, with no intervention after an initial consultation, did not achieve statistically significant weight loss.

The BodyMedia armband, designed to be worn around the clock, utilizes proprietary sensors and algorithms that capture and analyze data on the wearer's calorie burn, physical activity, steps taken and sleep efficiency. Companion software and mobile apps allow users to input their body parameters, set their personal goals, and track their activity and calorie intake. 

"This analysis has important implications for medical practitioners and weight loss counselors trying to plan intervention strategies to help their patients and clients bring their weight under control," Dr. Blair said. "It shows that technology-based interventions hold significant promise in both reducing cost and improving weight loss outcomes."

The findings of the new analysis will be presented at the ASCM meeting from 3:15 to 5:15 pm this Friday, June 1.  The meeting agenda can be viewed at www.acsmannualmeeting.org.

In addition, nine other papers and abstracts to be presented at the ACSM meeting utilized BodyMedia armbands to study topics ranging from energy expenditure on loaded versus unloaded treadmill exercise to measurement validity in children and during pregnancy, racial variations in weight loss, the effects of different physical activity levels on weight loss, and the relationship of physical activity intensity to long-term weight loss maintenance.

The full meeting agenda can be viewed at www.acsmannualmeeting.org

About BodyMedia, Inc.
When your body talks, BodyMedia listens. BodyMedia has been unlocking and deciphering secrets of the body since 1999. Headquartered in Pittsburgh, PA, BodyMedia is the pioneer in developing and marketing wearable body monitors that equip consumers with information they can use to make sweeping changes to their own health and wellness beginning with weight management and soon to include management of other conditions affected by lifestyle choices. The BodyMedia platform is the only system of its kind that is registered with the FDA as a Class II medical device and that has been clinically proven to enhance users' weight loss by up to three times (vs behavioral support alone, data on file). For more information, visit www.bodymedia.com.


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SOURCE BodyMedia, Inc.
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