Sustaining weight loss among adults with obesity using a digital meal planning and food purchasing platform for 12, 24, and 36 months: a longitudinal study

Nutr J. 2021 Jan 21;20(1):8. doi: 10.1186/s12937-021-00666-9.


Background: Previous studies have shown that lifestyle changes, such as diet and exercise, can lead to weight loss, resulting in dramatic improvements in overall health and chronic disease risk. However, while many traditional dieting, food tracking and weight loss coaching programs result in short-term weight loss, there is less evidence of their effectiveness on sustaining weight loss over time.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective analysis of 1,740 adults with obesity who used Foodsmart, a digital personalized dietary assessment, meal planning and food purchasing platform. Participants reported age, gender, at least three measures of weight, and their diet using a food frequency questionnaire. We defined sustained weight loss as participants who lost 5 % of initial weight between their first and second reported weights and lost weight or maintained weight between second and third reported weights. A healthy eating score, Nutriscore, was calculated to assess overall diet quality. We used multivariate logistic regression models to examine the association between user characteristics and odds of sustained weight loss.

Results: Over a median of 25 months, the mean (standard deviation) change in weight among participants was - 6.2 (19.8) pounds. In total, 39.3 % (684/1,740) of participants lost at least 5 % of their initial weight, and 22.4 % percent (389/1,740) of participants sustained weight loss. In the fully-adjusted logistic regression model, we found that obesity class 2 (odds ratio, OR: 1.69, 95 % confidence interval, CI: 1.27-2.24, P < 0.001), obesity class 3 (OR: 2.23, 95 % CI: 1.68-2.97, P < 0.001), baseline diet quality (OR: 1.06, 95 % CI: 1.02-1.09, P < 0.001), and greater change in diet quality (OR: 1.10, 95 % CI: 1.07-1.14, P < 0.001) were significantly associated with sustained weight loss.

Conclusions: This study characterized and demonstrated the utility of Foodsmart, a digital platform that gives personalized nutrition recommendations and meal planning tools, in sustained weight reduction among users with obesity.

Keywords: Dietary score; Digital; Meal planning; Mobile app; Nutrition; Obesity; Sustained; Weight loss; Weight maintenance.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Obesity / epidemiology
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Weight Loss*
  • Weight Reduction Programs*