Consistent Web Tool Use Linked to Weight Loss Maintenance

Greater success associated with more log-ins, weight recordings, and use of site features
By Monica Smith
HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, July 29 (HealthDay News) -- Patients who actively engage with a Web-based interactive weight maintenance tool may be more likely to maintain weight loss in the long term, according to research published in the July to September issue of the Journal of Medical Internet Research.

Kristine L. Funk, a registered dietitian at the Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research in Portland, Ore., and colleagues trained 348 adults at risk for cardiovascular disease, who had successfully lost 4 kg during a 20-week program, to use an interactive Web site for weight loss maintenance. Participants were encouraged to log in weekly and enter their weight over 30 months. The site contained goal-setting and motivational features.

The researchers found that those who used the site consistently tended to be older, non-African-American, and more educated than those who used the site some or minimally. Minimal users were more likely to have attended fewer sessions during the weight loss program portion prior to the Web tool trial, and were more likely to have a higher initial body mass index (BMI). After adjustment for baseline characteristics such as BMI, less weight regain was most associated with more log-ins, more time on the Web site, greater number of weight and exercise inputs, and use of Web site features after logging weight.

"Participants defined as consistent Web site users of an interactive behavioral Web site designed to promote maintenance of weight loss were more successful at maintaining long-term weight loss," the authors write.

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