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Cussler EC, Teixeira PJ, Going SB, Houtkooper LB, Metcalfe LL, Blew RM, Ricketts JR, Lohman J, Stanford VA, Lohman TG. May 2008. Maintenance of weight loss in overweight middle-aged women through the Internet. Obesity (Silver Spring), 16:1052-60
OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to compare weight regain in a group of perimenopausal women (48.0+/-4.4 years old), randomized to a 12-month weight maintenance Internet intervention or to self-directed weight maintenance after a 4-month weight loss treatment. METHODS AND PROCEDURES: After a 4-month behavioral weight loss program, 135 women were randomized to either Internet or self-directed groups. The Internet group (n=66) used a website to gain information and complete logs concerning their weight, diet, and exercise progress over a 12-month follow-up. The 69 self-directed women had no contact with study staff. All women were measured for weight and body composition, and diet intake, and were interviewed using the 7-day physical activity questionnaires at baseline, 4 months, and 16 months. RESULTS: At the end of the 12-month follow-up, the Internet and self-directed groups had regained on average 0.4+/-5.0 kg and 0.6+/-4.0 kg, respectively (P=0.5). In within-group analyses, Internet diet-log entries were correlated with follow-up weight change (r=-0.29; P<0.05) and moderately with change in exercise energy expenditure (EEE; r=0.44; P<0.01). Follow-up weight change was not correlated with change in dietary intake. DISCUSSION: While significant weight loss was maintained over follow-up by both groups of women, Internet use did not surpass self-direction in helping to sustain weight loss. Among Internet users, Internet use was related to weight change and EEE.Back