Web-based support system may help people lose weight and keep it off

July 5, 2018, Wiley

In a randomized long-term lifestyle change trial, an Internet-based health behavior change support system (HBCSS) was effective in improving weight loss and reduction in waist circumference for up to 2 years. The findings are published in the Journal of Internal Medicine.

The 532-participant trial included 6 arms: (CBT)-based group counselling, self-help guidance-based group counselling, and control, each with and without HCBSS. Interventions using the HBCSS had significantly higher success rates at losing weight and maintaining , regardless of the type of group counselling, compared with counselling alone. In addition, the success rate was also high in participants in the control group who received HBCSS.

CBT-based counselling with HBCSS produced the largest weight reduction without any significant weight gain during follow-up. The average weight change in this group was 4.1% at 12 months and 3.4% at 24 months. HBCSS even without any group counselling reduced the average by 1.6% at 24 months.

"Modifiable tools based on scientific evidence are needed for personalized treatment of obesity. HBCSS combined with cognitive behavioural therapy or as a stand-alone treatment provides us with such a modifiable method for personalized medicine," said co-lead author Dr. Tuire Salonurmi, of University of Oulu and Oulu University Hospital, in Finland.

Explore further: Lonely and prolonged struggle for people with severe obesity

More information: A.-M. Teeriniemi et al, A randomized clinical trial of the effectiveness of a Web-based health behaviour change support system and group lifestyle counselling on body weight loss in overweight and obese subjects: 2-year outcomes, Journal of Internal Medicine (2018). DOI: 10.1111/joim.12802

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