Behavioral weight control programs are effective in helping overweight and obese individuals lose weight and improve their health. This study was the first to examine the same behavioral program delivered in-person compared with online; the only aspect in which these programs differed was the channel by which it was delivered.
Our earlier study indicated that a group behavioral obesity treatment program delivered totally over the Internet produced clinically significant weight loss among overweight and obese individuals but the average weight losses were lower than those achieved with an in-person version of the same program. This study compared weight losses achieved with the online group program compared with the same program PLUS individual online Motivational Interviewing (MI) sessions.
More than two-thirds (69%) of adults in the United States are overweight or obese which is linked to high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, arthritis and some cancers. This pilot feasibility study examined whether a behavioral weight control program that engages the natural social support system of participants through the shared use of technology and social media produces better weight loss outcomes than a standard group-based behavioral weight control program alone.