Amazing New Clinical Study Results

Electronic feedback in a diet- and physical activity-based lifestyle intervention for weight loss:
a randomized controlled trial

Sara L Shuger, Vaughn W Barry, Xuemei Sui, Amanda McClain, Gregory A Hand, Sara Wilcox, Rebecca A Meriwether, James W Hardin and Steven N Blair

Background: The SenseWear Armband (SWA) (BodyMedia, Inc. Pittsburgh, PA) is a physical activity and lifestyle monitor that objectively and accurately measures free-living energy balance and sleep and includes software for self-monitoring of daily energy expenditure and energy intake. The real-time feedback of the SWA can improve individual self-monitoring and, therefore, enhance weight loss outcomes.

Methods: We recruited 197 sedentary overweight or obese adults (age, 46.8 ± 10.8 y; body mass index (BMI), 33.3 ± 5.2 kg/m2; 81% women, 32% African-American) from the greater Columbia, South Carolina area. Participants were randomized into 1 of 4 groups, a self-directed weight loss program via an evidence-based weight loss manual (Standard Care, n = 50), a group-based behavioral weight loss program (GWL, n = 49), the armband alone (SWA-alone, n = 49), or the GWL plus the armband (GWL+SWA, n = 49), during the 9-month intervention. The primary outcome was change in body weight and waist circumference. A mixed-model repeated-measures analysis compared change in the intervention groups to the standard care group on weight and waist circumference status after adjusting for age, sex, race, education, energy expenditure, and recruitment wave.

Results: Body weight was available for 62% of participants at 9 months (52% standard care, 70% intervention). There was significant weight loss in all 3 intervention groups (GWL, 1.86 kg, P = 0.05; SWA-alone, 3.55 kg, P = 0.0002; GWL+SWA, 6.59 kg, P < 0.0001) but not in the Standard Care group (0.89 kg, P = 0.39) at month 9. Only the GWL+SWA group achieved significant weight loss at month 9 compared to the Standard Care group (P = 0.04). Significant waist circumference reductions were achieved in all 4 groups at month 9 (Standard Care, 3.49 cm, P = 0.0004; GWL, 2.42 cm, P = 0.008; SWA-alone, 3.59 cm, P < 0.0001; GWL+SWA, 6.77 cm, P < 0.0001), but no intervention group had significantly reduced waist circumference compared to the Standard Care group. Conclusions: Continuous self-monitoring from wearable technology with real-time feedback may be particularly useful to enhance lifestyle changes that promote weight loss in sedentary overweight or obese adults. This strategy, combined with a group-based behavioral intervention, may yield optimal weight loss.

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The Comparison of a Technology-Based System and an In-Person Behavioral Weight Loss Intervention

Christine A. Pellegrini, Steven D. Verba, Amy D. Otto, Diane L. Helsel, Kelliann K. Davis and John M. Jakicic

The purpose of this study was to compare a technology-based system, an in-person behavioral weight loss intervention, and a combination of both over a 6-month period in overweight adults. Fifty-one subjects (age: 44.2 ± 8.7 years, BMI: 33.7 ± 3.6 kg/m2) participated in a 6-month behavioral weight loss program and were randomized to one of three groups: standard behavioral weight loss (SBWL), SBWL plus technology-based system (SBWL+TECH), or technologybased system only (TECH). All groups reduced caloric intake and progressively increased moderate intensity physical activity. SBWL and SBWL+TECH attended weekly meetings. SBWL+TECH also received a TECH that included an energy monitoring armband and website to monitor energy intake and expenditure. TECH used the technology system and received monthly telephone calls. Body weight and physical activity were assessed at 0 and 6 months. Retention at 6 months was significantly different (P = 0.005) between groups (SBWL: 53%, SBWL+TECH: 100%, and TECH: 77%). Intent-to-treat (ITT) analysis revealed significant weight losses at 6 months in SBWL+TECH (-8.8 ± 5.0 kg, -8.7 ± 4.7%), SBWL (-3.7 ± 5.7 kg, -4.1 ± 6.3%), and TECH (-5.8 ± 6.6 kg, -6.3 ± 7.1%) (P < 0.001). Self-report physical activity increased significantly in SBWL (473.9 ± 800.7 kcal/week), SBWL+TECH (713.9 ± 1,278.8 kcal/week), and TECH (1,066.2 ± 1,371 kcal/week) (P < 0.001), with no differences between groups (P = 0.25). The TECH used in conjunction with monthly telephone calls, produced similar, if not greater weight losses and changes in physical activity than the standard in-person behavioral program at 6 months. The use of this technology may provide an effective short-term clinical alternative to standard in-person behavioral weight loss interventions, with the longer term effects warranting investigation.

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