The drop it at last study: six-month results of a phone-based weight loss trial

Am J Health Promot. 2010 Jul-Aug;24(6):378-83. doi: 10.4278/ajhp.080826-QUAN-161.


Purpose: To address the translational research question regarding the optimal intervention "dose" to produce the most cost-effective rate of weight loss, we conducted the Drop It At Last (DIAL) study.

Design: DIAL is a 6-month pilot randomized trial to examine the efficacy of phone-based weight loss programs with varying levels of treatment contact (10 vs. 20 sessions) in comparison to self-directed treatment.

Setting: Participants were recruited from the community via mailings and advertisement.

Subjects: Participants were 63 adults with a body mass index between 30 and 39 kg/m(2).

Intervention: Participants received a standard set of print materials and were randomized to either: (1) self-directed treatment; (2) 10 phone coaching sessions; or (3) 20 phone coaching sessions.

Measures: Measured height, weight, and psychosocial and weight-related self-monitoring measures were collected at baseline and follow-up.

Analysis: General linear models were used to examine 6-month treatment group differences in weight loss and in psychosocial and behavioral measures.

Results: Weight losses were -2.3, -3.2, and -4.9 kg in the self-directed, 10-session, and 20-session groups, respectively (p < .21). Participants who completed 10 or more sessions lost more weight (-5.1 kg) compared to those completed four or fewer sessions (-.3 kg, p < .04).

Conclusion: Phone-based weight loss program participation is associated with modest weight loss. The optimal dose and timing of intervention warrant further study.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Behavior Therapy / economics
  • Behavior Therapy / methods*
  • Body Mass Index
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis
  • Counseling / economics
  • Counseling / methods
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Obesity / prevention & control
  • Obesity / psychology
  • Obesity / therapy*
  • Pilot Projects
  • Remote Consultation / methods
  • Telephone*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Weight Loss*