Published in the March 7 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, Deborah Tate’s study lays the groundwork for research on the best methods to help people lose weight online.
The Internet appears to be a good way to deliver structured behavioral
weight loss programs, according to a Brown study — the first
to examine the use of information technology to aid weight loss.
Dieters who received weekly advice from behavioral therapists on
the Internet lost three times as much weight in
six months as those who just had access to information about diet
and exercise on the Internet — 9 pounds compared to 3 pounds.
Participants in both groups followed the same pattern: They lost
weight during the first three months, when they most frequently
logged on to the study’s Web site, and they maintained their
weight loss during the next three months, when their Internet use
"Logging on more frequently was associated with better weight
loss in both groups," said lead researcher Deborah F. Tate,
assistant professor of psychiatry and human behavior in the Medical
"But more importantly than just logging on to a Web site is
what type of program you tap into. Our study shows that a structured
program with continued contact works better than just giving people
access to information online."
Published in the March 7 issue of the Journal of the American Medical
Association, Tate’s study lays the groundwork for research
on the best methods to help people lose weight online.
Ninety-one people ages 18 to 60, who were on average 30 pounds
overweight, began the study; 65 participants completed it.
Half were assigned to the "behavior therapy group." They
received feedback from a trained therapist through e-mail and had
access to an electronic bulletin board for support from their fellow
participants, and to information resources about diet and exercise.
Half were assigned to the "education group" and had only
the Internet information resources about diet and exercise.
Many participants achieved a standard weight-loss benchmark. Forty-five
percent of those in the behavior therapy group and 22 percent of
those in the education group lost at least 5 percent of their initial
body weight — a loss that has been shown to produce measurable
Although the weight losses in the study do not appear to rival
clinical face-to-face programs, which typically produce 20-pound
losses in six months, the Internet may help reach people who otherwise
would not participate in those programs, said Tate, who is based
at The Miriam Hospital.
"It is especially important to look for new methods to help
people with weight loss given that more than 54 percent of U.S.
adults are overweight or obese," said Tate. "There are
a lot of people who do not choose to attend face-to-face programs
for any number of reasons, from embarrassment to schedule constraints.
The Internet appears to provide people with an alternative —
not necessarily a better alternative, but an alternative."
The Internet combines the ability to disseminate written information
with the opportunity to interact through e-mail, bulletin boards
or chat rooms. Dieters can also access the Web on their own schedule.
Rapid increases in access to the Internet have made it a logical
mode for intervention: The number of adults who use the Internet
has surged from 9 percent to 56 percent in the past four years,
Tate collaborated on the study with Rena R. Wing, professor of
psychiatry and human behavior at the Medical School, and Richard
A. Winett, professor of psychology at Virginia Polytechnic Institute
and State University. The study was supported by a grant from the
Weight Risk Investigators Study Council, a research division of
"Leading Fitness Trainer from Down Under Finally Reveals His Renowned, Time Busting Weight Loss Program to the Mainstream"
Discover How you can Melt Away 10 Pounds Of Unwanted Fat a Month Easily in Just 20 Minutes of Your Time Per Week
It's a unintimidating read offering a simple to perform fitness program.
It's an incredible resource of practical, easy to understand and use information.