Weight Control and Diabetes Research Center


Recent Findings:

Comparison of Smartphone-based Behavioral Obesity Treatment to Gold Standard Group Treatment and Control: A Randomized Trial

     Gold-standard behavioral obesity treatments produce clinically significant weight loss for a majority of patients, but are not widely available due to their high cost and reliance on frequent clinic visits and skilled interventionists. However, it may be possible to translate these treatments for online delivery, which could increase accessibility and reduce costs to both providers and patients. It may also be possible to capitalize on the unique capabilities of mobile technology to facilitate adherence to key weight control behaviors such as self-monitoring. In this randomized clinical trial, we compared gold-standard behavioral obesity treatment delivered via group sessions with paper diaries for self-monitoring and feedback to a primarily smartphone-based treatment with app-based self-monitoring and feedback and a monthly clinic weigh-in. These two treatments were also compared to a control condition involving goal setting, paper diaries for self-monitoring and feedback, and a monthly clinic weigh-in, but minimal instruction in behavioral weight loss strategies. The results show that over 18-months of treatment, the primarily smartphone-based program improved rates of self-monitoring and produced weight losses just as good as those produced by the more intensive group-based program. However, the control condition also produced similar weight losses. The results of this study suggest that behavioral obesity treatment can be delivered in less intensive formats, at lower cost, while maintaining similar levels of efficacy. In addition, mobile technology can be used to facilitate adherence to self-monitoring, an important strategy for weight loss.

Thomas JG, Bond DS, Raynor HA, Papandonatos GD, Wing RR. Comparison of smartphone-based behavioral obesity treatment With gold standard group treatment and control: A randomized trial. Obesity (Silver Spring). 2019. Epub ahead of print.



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Weight Control and Diabetes Research Center

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