Exploring Sex Differences in the Effectiveness of Telehealth-Based Health Coaching in Weight Management in an Employee Population

Am J Health Promot. 2021 Feb;35(2):262-265. doi: 10.1177/0890117120943363. Epub 2020 Jul 27.


Purpose: To explore a telehealth-based lifestyle therapeutics (THBC) program on weight loss (WL) and program satisfaction in an employer population.

Design: This study was a collaboration between inHealth Lifestyle Therapeutics and a large national employer group including 685 participants (296 women [64% obese] and 389 men [62% obese]).

Measures: Percent WL and subjective rating (Perceived Program Value measured by a questionnaire) were assessed.

Intervention: Average number of visits was 3.1 ± 0.4; each visit ranged between 20 and 45 minutes.

Analysis: This study utilized a 2 × 2 block design using analysis of variance techniques based on sex (male and female) and initial body mass index (BMI) category (overweight and obese) tested at P ≤ .05.

Results: There was no statistical difference in %WL between by sex (F1,681 = 0.398, P = .528) nor an interaction between sex and BMI (F1,681 = 0.809, P = .369). There was a statistically significant difference in %WL from pre to post program across initial BMI category (F1,681 = 13.707, P ≤ .001) with obese participants losing an average of 1.1% (0.5%-1.6%) more than overweight participants (overweight 2.5% [2.1%-3.0%] vs obese 3.6% [3.2%-3.9%]). Obese participants were 1.15 (1.07-1.25) times more likely to lose weight compared to overweight participants. Analysis of variance power analysis indicated sufficient power on minimum factor combination n = 106 ( Effect Size = 0.282).

Conclusion: Results support the efficacy THBC in supporting WL with no reported differences between men and women, while having a high perceived value for employee participants.

Keywords: employee health; health coaching; telehealth; weight loss.

MeSH terms

  • Body Mass Index
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mentoring*
  • Overweight / therapy
  • Sex Characteristics
  • Telemedicine*
  • Weight Loss