The efficacy of a technology-based system in a short-term behavioral weight loss intervention

Obesity (Silver Spring). 2007 Apr;15(4):825-30. doi: 10.1038/oby.2007.584.


Objective: The objective was to examine the efficacy of adding a technology-based program to an in-person, behavioral weight loss intervention.

Research methods and procedures: Fifty-seven subjects (BMI=33.1+/-2.8 kg/m2; age=41.3+/-8.7 years) participated in a 12-week intervention with random assignment to Standard In-Person Behavioral Weight Control Program (SBWP) or Intermittent or Continuous Technology-Based Program (INT-TECH, CON-TECH). SBWP subjects received seven individualized weight loss sessions encouraging dietary and exercise modifications. INT-TECH and CON-TECH subjects received all SBWP components; additionally, these groups used a SenseWear Pro Armband (BodyMedia, Inc.) to monitor energy expenditure and an Internet-based program to monitor eating behaviors. These features were used by INT-TECH subjects during weeks 1, 5, and 9 and CON-TECH subjects weekly throughout the intervention.

Results: Intent-to-treat analysis revealed weight loss of 4.1+/-2.8 kg, 3.4+/-3.4 kg, and 6.2+/-4.0 kg, for SBWP, INT-TECH, and CON-TECH groups, respectively (CON-TECH>INT-TECH, p<or=0.05).

Discussion: These results indicate that the technology-based program needs to be used continuously throughout the intervention period to significantly impact weight loss. Future studies should examine the long-term and independent effect of this technology on weight loss, and for whom this intervention format is most effective.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Behavior Therapy / methods*
  • Body Mass Index
  • Body Weight
  • Diet, Reducing / methods*
  • Exercise
  • Feeding Behavior*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Internet
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Monitoring, Ambulatory / methods*
  • Technology / methods*
  • Weight Loss