Computerized self-monitoring and email feedback for weight loss
Originally Published In
Patient Education and Counseling
The purpose of this study was to develop and evaluate a 12-week weight management intervention involving computerized self-monitoring and technology-assisted feedback with and without an enhanced behavioral component.
120 overweight (30.5 ± 2.6 kg/m2) adults (45.0 ± 10.3 years) were randomized to one of three groups: computerized self-monitoring with Basic feedback (n = 45), Enhanced behavioral feedback (n = 45), or wait-list control (n = 30). Intervention participants used a computer software program to record dietary and physical activity information. Weekly e-mail feedback was based on computer-generated reports, and participants attended monthly measurement visits.
The Basic and Enhanced groups experienced significant weight reduction (−2.7 ± 3.3 kg and −2.5 ± 3.1 kg) in comparison to the Control group (0.3 ± 2.2; p < 0.05). Waist circumference and systolic blood pressure also decreased in intervention groups compared to Control (p < 0.01).
A program using computerized self-monitoring, technology-assisted feedback, and monthly measurement visits produced significant weight loss after 12 weeks. However, the addition of an enhanced behavioral component did not improve the effectiveness of the program.
This study suggests that healthcare professionals can effectively deliver a weight management intervention using technology-assisted strategies in a format that may complement and reduce face-to-face sessions.