The Effect of Different Types of Monitoring Strategies on Weight Loss: A Randomized Controlled Trial

Obesity (Silver Spring). 2017 Sep;25(9):1490-1498. doi: 10.1002/oby.21898. Epub 2017 Jul 13.


Objective: To determine the effectiveness of various monitoring strategies on weight loss, body composition, blood markers, exercise, and psychosocial indices in adults with overweight and obesity following a 12-month weight loss program.

Methods: Two hundred fifty adults with BMI ≥ 27 were randomized to brief, monthly, individual consults, daily self-monitoring of weight, self-monitoring of diet using MyFitnessPal, self-monitoring of hunger, or control over 12 months. All groups received diet and exercise advice, and 171 participants (68.4%) remained at 12 months.

Results: No significant differences in weight, body composition, blood markers, exercise, or eating behavior were apparent between those in the four monitoring groups and the control condition at 12 months (all P ≥ 0.053). Weight differences between groups ranged from -1.1 kg (-3.8 to 1.6) to 2.2 kg (-1.0 to 5.3). However, brief support and hunger training groups reported significantly lower scores for depression (difference [95% CI]: -3.16 [-5.70 to -0.62] and -3.05 [-5.61 to -0.50], respectively) and anxiety (-1.84, [-3.67 to -0.02]) scores than control participants.

Conclusions: Although adding a monitoring strategy to diet and exercise advice did not further increase weight loss, no adverse effects on eating behavior were observed, and some monitoring strategies may even benefit mental health.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anxiety
  • Body Composition
  • Body Mass Index
  • Body Weight
  • Counseling
  • Depression
  • Diet
  • Exercise
  • Feeding Behavior
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mental Health
  • Middle Aged
  • Obesity / therapy
  • Overweight / therapy*
  • Weight Loss*
  • Weight Reduction Programs / methods*

Associated data

  • ANZCTR/ACTRN12615000010594