Dieters lost more pounds when using an Online Weight Loss Program

Weighing in on scale - BSN

(Best Syndication News) - A study from researchers at the Penn State College of Medicine found that people who participated in an online weight loss program with others, lost more weight than those that did not join in. The results were published in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine.

The study compared two groups, one losing weight without help, and the other group participated in an online weight loss program that offered strategies for success. The group that was on their own initially was allowed to participate with the online program after 12 weeks.

Jennifer L. Kraschnewski, M.D., M.P.H., assistant professor of medicine and public health sciences, explained that current online weight loss programs tend to have modest short term benefits, which makes her think that an alternative method might be better.

The researchers put together a website called AchieveTogether. They developed a list of weight loss strategies that worked for the top 10 percent of dieters that managed to keep the weight off for at least one year. They got 36 dieting tips from another study that had people who lost at least 30 pounds and kept the weight off. The researchers had a medical doctor review each dieting tip to make sure that they were safe to do.

The study participants visited the website at least one time per week. They entered their weight, height, and how many of the weight loss strategies that they would use that week. Based on their age, gender, and desired body weight they were paired up with three role models that matched closest to them. The participant would be able to see their role model’s methods of losing weight.

Based on the information provided, each participant determined a weight loss plan by picking strategies that would help him or her lose weight. They could pick as many as they wanted, but they were asked to pick at least one.

Every time they entered the website, the participants received customized feedback to help them stay on track with the methods they picked and ways that they could modify them to fit their own life.

The results showed that participants of the AchieveTogether website lost around 4.5 more pounds than the control group that lost weight on their own.

By: Marsha Quinn
Health Reporter



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