Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/2440/107218
Citations
Scopus Web of Science® Altmetric
?
?
Type: Journal article
Title: Features predicting weight loss in overweight or obese participants in a web-based intervention: randomized trial
Author: Brindal, E.
Freyne, J.
Saunders, I.
Berkovsky, S.
Smith, G.
Noakes, M.
Citation: Journal of Medical Internet Research, 2012; 14(6):114-129
Publisher: JMIR Publications
Issue Date: 2012
ISSN: 1438-8871
1438-8871
Statement of
Responsibility: 
Emily Brindal, Jill Freyne, Ian Saunders, Shlomo Berkovsky, Greg Smith, Manny Noakes
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Obesity remains a serious issue in many countries. Web-based programs offer good potential for delivery of weight loss programs. Yet, many Internet-delivered weight loss studies include support from medical or nutritional experts, and relatively little is known about purely web-based weight loss programs. OBJECTIVE: To determine whether supportive features and personalization in a 12-week web-based lifestyle intervention with no in-person professional contact affect retention and weight loss. METHODS: We assessed the effect of different features of a web-based weight loss intervention using a 12-week repeated-measures randomized parallel design. We developed 7 sites representing 3 functional groups. A national mass media promotion was used to attract overweight/obese Australian adults (based on body mass index [BMI] calculated from self-reported heights and weights). Eligible respondents (n = 8112) were randomly allocated to one of 3 functional groups: information-based (n = 183), supportive (n = 3994), or personalized-supportive (n = 3935). Both supportive sites included tools, such as a weight tracker, meal planner, and social networking platform. The personalized-supportive site included a meal planner that offered recommendations that were personalized using an algorithm based on a user's preferences for certain foods. Dietary and activity information were constant across sites, based on an existing and tested 12-week weight loss program (the Total Wellbeing Diet). Before and/or after the intervention, participants completed demographic (including self-reported weight), behavioral, and evaluation questionnaires online. Usage of the website and features was objectively recorded. All screening and data collection procedures were performed online with no face-to-face contact. RESULTS: Across all 3 groups, attrition was high at around 40% in the first week and 20% of the remaining participants each week. Retention was higher for the supportive sites compared to the information-based site only at week 12 (P = .01). The average number of days that each site was used varied significantly (P = .02) and was higher for the supportive site at 5.96 (SD 11.36) and personalized-supportive site at 5.50 (SD 10.35), relative to the information-based site at 3.43 (SD 4.28). In total, 435 participants provided a valid final weight at the 12-week follow-up. Intention-to-treat analyses (using multiple imputations) revealed that there were no statistically significant differences in weight loss between sites (P = .42). On average, participants lost 2.76% (SE 0.32%) of their initial body weight, with 23.7% (SE 3.7%) losing 5% or more of their initial weight. Within supportive conditions, the level of use of the online weight tracker was predictive of weight loss (model estimate = 0.34, P < .001). Age (model estimate = 0.04, P < .001) and initial BMI (model estimate = -0.03, P < .002) were associated with frequency of use of the weight tracker. CONCLUSIONS: Relative to a static control, inclusion of social networking features and personalized meal planning recommendations in a web-based weight loss program did not demonstrate additive effects for user weight loss or retention. These features did, however, increase the average number of days that a user engaged with the system. For users of the supportive websites, greater use of the weight tracker tool was associated with greater weight loss.
Keywords: Internet; obesity; dietetics
Rights: ©Emily Brindal, Jill Freyne, Ian Saunders, Shlomo Berkovsky, Greg Smith, Manny Noakes. Originally published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research (http://www.jmir.org), 12.12.2012. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work, first published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research, is properly cited. The complete bibliographic information, a link to the original publication on http://www.jmir.org/, as well as this copyright and license information must be included.
RMID: 0030047325
DOI: 10.2196/jmir.2156
Appears in Collections:Computer Science publications

Files in This Item:
File Description SizeFormat 
hdl_107218.pdfPublished version8.5 MBAdobe PDFView/Open


Items in DSpace are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.