Publications by authors named "Kristen Polzien"

14 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Promoting physical activity in young adult cancer survivors using mHealth and adaptive tailored feedback strategies: Design of the Improving Physical Activity after Cancer Treatment (IMPACT) randomized controlled trial.

Contemp Clin Trials 2021 04 27;103:106293. Epub 2021 Jan 27.

Department of Nutrition, Gillings School of Global Public Health and School of Medicine, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC, USA; Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC, USA; Department of Health Behavior, Gillings School of Global Public Health, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC, USA.

Introduction: Despite the health benefits of physical activity for cancer survivors, nearly 60% of young adult cancer survivors (YACS) are physically inactive. Few physical activity interventions have been designed specifically for YACS.

Purpose: To describe the rationale and design of the IMPACT (IMproving Physical Activity after Cancer Treatment) trial, which tests the efficacy of a theory-based, mobile physical activity intervention for YACS.

Methods: A total of 280 physically inactive YACS (diagnosed at ages 18-39) will be randomized to a self-help control or intervention condition. All participants will receive an activity tracker and companion mobile app, cellular-enabled scale, individual videochat session, and access to a Facebook group. Intervention participants will also receive a 6-month mobile intervention based on social cognitive theory, which targets improvements in behavioral capability, self-regulation, self-efficacy, and social support, and incorporates self-regulation strategies and behavior change techniques. The program includes: behavioral lessons; adaptive goal-setting in response to individuals' changing activity patterns; tailored feedback based on objective data and self-report measures; tailored text messages; and Facebook prompts encouraging peer support. Assessments occur at baseline, 3, 6, and 12 months. The primary outcome is total physical activity min/week at 6 months (assessed via accelerometry); secondary outcomes include total physical activity at 12 months, sedentary behavior, weight, and psychosocial measures.

Conclusions: IMPACT uniquely focuses on physical activity in YACS using an automated tailored mHealth program. Study findings could result in a high-reach, physical activity intervention for YACS that has potential to be adopted on a larger scale and reduce cancer-related morbidity. Identifier: NCT03569605.
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April 2021

Changes in Cardiovascular Risk Factors Over 6 Years in Young Adults in a Randomized Trial of Weight Gain Prevention.

Obesity (Silver Spring) 2020 12;28(12):2323-2330

Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior, Weight Control and Diabetes Research Center, Alpert Medical School, Brown University-Miriam Hospital, Providence, Rhode Island, USA.

Objective: This study aimed to determine the impact of weight gain prevention interventions on changes in cardiovascular risk factors over 6 years.

Methods: The Study of Novel Approaches to Weight Gain Prevention (SNAP) randomized 599 participants (ages 18-35; 46% with BMI 21-25; 54% with BMI 25-30) to Large Changes (produce buffer by losing 5-10 pounds initially), Small Changes (daily small changes in intake and activity) or Control and followed 355 participants with ongoing intervention and assessments through 6 years.

Results: There were no significant differences among interventions for changes in weight or cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors from baseline to 6 years. However, 44% of participants gained ≥5%, and only 14% lost ≥5% over 6 years. Weight changes, from baseline to year 6, were significantly associated with changes in risk factors, especially insulin and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol. Earlier weight changes (e.g., weight cycling) had no beneficial or adverse effect on changes in CVD risk factors at 6 years, independent of 6-year weight changes.

Conclusions: Despite participation in a weight gain prevention trial, almost half of these young adults gained ≥5% or more over 6 years, with significant worsening in CVD risk factors. Greater attention to long-term weight gain prevention in young adults is needed.
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December 2020

Examination of a partial dietary self-monitoring approach for behavioral weight management.

Obes Sci Pract 2020 Aug 26;6(4):353-364. Epub 2020 Apr 26.

WW New York NY USA.

Introduction: Dietary self-monitoring in behavioral weight loss programmes traditionally involves keeping track of all foods and beverages to achieve a calorie deficit. While effective, adherence declines over time. WW™ (formerly Weight Watchers), a widely available commercial weight management programme, sought to pilot an approach that permitted participants to consume over 200 foods without monitoring them.

Methods: The current study used a pre-post evaluation design with anthropometric, psychosocial and physical health assessments at baseline, 3 and 6 months.

Results: Participants ( = 152) were, on average, 48.4 (±12.3) years old, with body mass index (BMI) of 32.8 (±4.8) m/kg and 94% female. Mean weight loss was 6.97 + 5.55 kg or 7.9 ± 6.1% of initial body weight (s < .0001) at 6 months. One third (32.6%) of the sample lost 10% or more of initial body weight. Significant improvements in hunger, cravings, happiness, sleep, quality of life, aerobic stamina, flexibility and blood pressure were observed. Attendance at group meetings, as well as decreases in hunger, and fast food cravings from baseline to 3 months were associated with achieving 10% weight loss at 6 months ( < .01).

Conclusions: Using an approach that does not require self-monitoring of all foods and beverages produced significant weight losses and other physical and psychosocial improvements.
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August 2020

Examining Heterogeneity of Outcomes in a Weight Gain Prevention Program for Young Adults.

Obesity (Silver Spring) 2020 03 6;28(3):521-528. Epub 2020 Feb 6.

Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior, Alpert Medical School of Brown University, Miriam Hospital, Providence, Rhode Island, USA.

Objective: This study aimed to characterize young adults who experienced significant weight gains (> 10%) over 3 years in a weight gain prevention program.

Methods: Secondary data analysis from the Study of Novel Approaches to Weight Gain Prevention (SNAP), a randomized trial comparing two self-regulation interventions and a control arm in young adults (18-35 years; BMI 21-30.9 kg/m ), was used. Large Gainers (≥ 10% of their body weight; n = 48), Small Gainers (2.6%-9.9%; n = 149), and Weight Stable participants (± 2.5%; n = 143) were compared on dimensions affecting weight gain.

Results: Differences in weight gain among the three groups were significant by year 1 and subsequently increased. Those who became Large Gainers were heavier at baseline and further below their highest weight, and they reported more weight cycling than Weight Stable, with Small Gainers intermediate. Neither study arm nor pregnancy explained weight change differences among the three groups. Large Gainers reported more depressive symptoms than Weight Stable at years 1 and 2. Large Gainers were less likely to weigh themselves at least weekly at 4 months, before differences in weight gain emerged, and at years 1 and 2.

Conclusions: Large Gainers (representing almost 10% of participants) could be identified early by greater weight issues at baseline and lower use of weight gain prevention strategies.
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March 2020

Weight Gain Over 6 Years in Young Adults: The Study of Novel Approaches to Weight Gain Prevention Randomized Trial.

Obesity (Silver Spring) 2020 01;28(1):80-88

Alpert Medical School of Brown University, Miriam Hospital, Providence, Rhode Island, USA.

Objective: The study objective was to determine whether two self-regulation interventions that reduced 3-year weight gain in young adults remain effective at 6 years.

Methods: A randomized trial was conducted in two academic settings in 599 young adults, aged 18 to 35 years, with normal weight or overweight; 504 (84%) reconsented for a 6-year extension (Study of Novel Approaches to Weight Gain Prevention-Extended [SNAP-E]) with ongoing intervention and assessments. Weight gain over 6 years was compared for all assigned to Control, Large Changes (LC; lose 5-10 pounds initially), and Small Changes (SC; make small daily changes in intake and activity).

Results: Weight change from baseline to 6 years did not differ significantly among the three groups (Control = 3.9 kg, SC = 4.1 kg, and LC = 2.8 kg). However, there was a significant age-by-treatment interaction (P = 0.002). Among those < 25 years old, weight gain from baseline to 6 years averaged 7.3 kg in the Control group and was reduced by almost 50% in LC and SC. LC also significantly reduced mean weight gain (area under the curve) over 6 years compared with Control or SC.

Conclusions: Although the interventions did not reduce weight gain at 6 years for the full cohort, they were effective in those < 25 years old. Future efforts should focus on young adults aged 18 to 24.9 and test more intensive interventions with more diverse participants.
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January 2020

Deconstructing Weight Management Interventions for Young Adults: Looking Inside the Black Box of the EARLY Consortium Trials.

Obesity (Silver Spring) 2019 07 28;27(7):1085-1098. Epub 2019 May 28.

Epidemiology & Biostatistics, Graduate School of Public Health, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA.

Objective: The goal of the present study was to deconstruct the 17 treatment arms used in the Early Adult Reduction of weight through LifestYle (EARLY) weight management trials.

Methods: Intervention materials were coded to reflect behavioral domains and behavior change techniques (BCTs) within those domains planned for each treatment arm. The analytical hierarchy process was employed to determine an emphasis profile of domains in each intervention.

Results: The intervention arms used BCTs from all of the 16 domains, with an average of 29.3 BCTs per intervention arm. All 12 of the interventions included BCTs from the six domains of Goals and Planning, Feedback and Monitoring, Social Support, Shaping Knowledge, Natural Consequences, and Comparison of Outcomes; 11 of the 12 interventions shared 15 BCTs in common across those six domains.

Conclusions: Weight management interventions are complex. The shared set of BCTs used in the EARLY trials may represent a core intervention that could be studied to determine the required emphases of BCTs and whether additional BCTs add to or detract from efficacy. Deconstructing interventions will aid in reproducibility and understanding of active ingredients.
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July 2019

Randomized trial comparing group size of periodic in-person sessions in a remotely delivered weight loss intervention.

Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act 2017 10 23;14(1):144. Epub 2017 Oct 23.

Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC, 27599-7294, USA.

Background: Few randomized studies have examined differential effects of group size in behavioral weight control, especially in hybrid programs that include Internet treatment approaches.

Methods: Randomized controlled trial (n = 195) comparing a 4 month hybrid internet weight loss program coupled with monthly face to face groups of 100 persons (Large Group, LG; 1 group) or to the same approach with monthly groups of 20 persons (Small Group, SG; 4 groups). Repeated-measures mixed-model analysis with age and race as covariates were used to estimate primary (weight) and secondary outcomes, and to test group differences in change over time.

Results: The sample was 46.3 years old ±10.4, 90.3% female, and 51.9% non-white, with BMI 37.9 ± 8.4 kg/m. Participants in the LG were more likely to return for the 4-month assessment visit than those in the SG (p = 0.04). Participants randomized to both the LG and SG conditions experienced significant WL over time (no between group difference: -4.1 kg and -3.7 kg, respectively) and weight loss was positively associated with attendance at monthly meetings and logins to the website. Satisfaction with the program was high and similar in both groups (94.4% reported that they were "satisfied" or "very satisfied").

Conclusions: Using a hybrid approach of in-person and online weight loss interventions may be an effective way to reach larger and more diverse populations. Delivering the face to face component of the intervention in groups larger than those traditionally delivered (20-25 people) could increase the cost-effectiveness of group-based behavioral weight loss interventions.

Clinical Trials Registration Number: NCT01615471 . Registered June 6, 2012. Registered retrospectively.
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October 2017

The Effect of Self-Efficacy on Behavior and Weight in a Behavioral Weight-Loss Intervention.

Health Psychol 2016 May 16. Epub 2016 May 16.

Objective: To determine whether eating self-efficacy (ESE) and physical activity self-efficacy (PASE) are predictive of dietary intake, physical activity, and weight change within a behavioral weight-loss intervention, and whether dietary intake and physical activity mediate relationships between self-efficacy and weight change.

Method: The study sample included 246 participants from a randomized trial with complete data on study variables at 12 months. ESE, PASE, calories consumed, minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA), and weight were measured at baseline, 6, and 12 months.

Results: ESE at baseline was associated with 12-month percent weight loss (PWL), and was mediated by average calories consumed at 6 and 12 months. Change in ESE from baseline to 6 months was associated with calories consumed at 12 months and 12-month percent weight loss, but the mediated relationship was not significant. Baseline PASE was not associated with average MVPA at 6 and 12 months or 12-month PWL, but change in PASE from baseline to 6 months was associated with 12-month PWL through its effect on MVPA at 12 months.

Conclusion: Increases in ESE and PASE during the active phase of the intervention are predictive of dietary intake, physical activity and weight loss at later points, but further research should include explorations of the reciprocal relationship between behavior and self-efficacy to better inform intervention strategies that target self-efficacy and promote behavior change. (PsycINFO Database Record
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May 2016

Racial Differences in Weight Loss Among Adults in a Behavioral Weight Loss Intervention: Role of Diet and Physical Activity.

J Phys Act Health 2015 Dec 5;12(12):1558-66. Epub 2015 Mar 5.

Dept of Health and Physical Activity, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA.

Background: African-Americans lose less weight during a behavioral intervention compared with Whites, which may be from differences in dietary intake or physical activity.

Methods: Subjects (30% African American, 70% White; n = 346; 42.4 ± 9.0 yrs.; BMI = 33.0 ± 3.7 kg/m2) in an 18-month weight loss intervention were randomized to a standard behavioral (SBWI) or a stepped-care (STEP) intervention. Weight, dietary intake, self-report and objective physical activity, and fitness were assessed at 0, 6, 12, and 18 months.

Results: Weight loss at 18 months was greater in Whites (-8.74 kg with 95% CI [-10.10, -7.35]) compared with African Americans (-5.62 kg with 95% CI [-7.86, -3.37]) (P = .03) in the SBWI group and the STEP group (White: -7.48 kg with 95% CI [-8.80, -6.17] vs. African American: -4.41kg with 95% CI [-6.41, -2.42]) (P = .01). Patterns of change in dietary intake were not different between groups. Objective physical activity (PA) changed over time (P < .0001) and was higher in Whites when compared with African Americans (P = .01).

Conclusions: Whites lost more weight (3.10 kg) than African American adults. Although there were no differences in dietary intake, Whites had higher levels of objective PA and fitness. Thus, the discrepancy in weight loss may be due to differences in PA rather than dietary intake. However, the precise role of these factors warrants further investigation.
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December 2015

Objective physical activity and weight loss in adults: the step-up randomized clinical trial.

Obesity (Silver Spring) 2014 Nov;22(11):2284-92

Department of Health and Physical Activity, Physical Activity and Weight Management Research Center, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA.

Objective: To examine the amount of objectively measured MVPA and LPA that is associated with long-term weight loss and the maintenance of clinically significant weight loss.

Methods: Adults (N = 260; BMI: 25 to <40 kg/m(2) ; age: 18-55 years) participated in an 18-month behavioral weight loss intervention and were prescribed a low-calorie diet and increased physical activity. Change in weight and objectively measured physical activity were assessed. MVPA > 10 (MET-min/week) was computed from bouts >10 min and >3.0 METs and MVPA < 10 was computed from bouts <10 min in duration and >3.0 METs. LPA was computed from bouts between 1.5 to <3.0 METs.

Results: When grouped on percent weight loss at 18 months, there was a significant group × time interaction effect (P < 0.0001) for both MVPA > 10 and LPA, with both measures being significantly greater at 18 months in those with >10% weight loss. Similar results were observed for MVPA > 10 and LPA with participants grouped on achieving >10% weight loss at 6 months and sustaining this at 18 months.

Conclusions: MVPA > 10 of 200-300 min per week, coupled with increased amounts of LPA, are associated with improved long-term weight loss. Interventions should promote engagement in these amounts and types of physical activity.
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November 2014

Effect of a stepped-care intervention approach on weight loss in adults: a randomized clinical trial.

JAMA 2012 Jun;307(24):2617-26

Department of Health and Physical Activity, Physical Activity and Weight Management Research Center, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA 15261, USA.

Context: Given the obesity epidemic, effective but resource-efficient weight loss treatments are needed. Stepped-treatment approaches customize interventions based on milestone completion and can be more effective while costing less to administer than conventional treatment approaches.

Objective: To determine whether a stepped-care weight loss intervention (STEP) compared with a standard behavioral weight loss intervention (SBWI) would result in greater weight loss.

Design, Setting, And Participants: A randomized clinical trial of 363 overweight and obese adults (body mass index: 25-<40; age: 18-55 years, 33% nonwhite, and 83% female) who were randomized to SBWI (n = 165) or STEP (n = 198) at 2 universities affiliated with academic medical centers in the United States (Step-Up Study). Participants were enrolled between May 2008 and February 2010 and data collection was completed by September 2011.

Interventions: All participants were placed on a low-calorie diet, prescribed increases in physical activity, and attended group counseling sessions ranging from weekly to monthly during an 18-month period. The SBWI group was assigned to a fixed program. Counseling frequency, type, and weight loss strategies could be modified every 3 months for the STEP group in response to observed weight loss as it related to weight loss goals.

Main Outcome Measure: Mean change in weight over 18 months. Additional outcomes included resting heart rate and blood pressure, waist circumference, body composition, fitness, physical activity, dietary intake, and cost of the program.

Results: Of the 363 participants randomized, 260 (71.6%) provided a measure of mean change in weight over 18 months. The 18-month intervention resulted in weight decreasing from 93.1 kg (95% CI, 91.0 to 95.2 kg) to 85.6 kg (95% CI, 83.4 to 87.7 kg) (P < .001) in the SBWI group and from 92.7 kg (95% CI, 90.8 to 94.6 kg) to 86.4 kg (95% CI, 84.5 to 88.4 kg) in the STEP group (P < .001). The percentage change in weight from baseline to 18 months was -8.1% (95% CI, -9.4% to -6.9%) in the SBWI group (P < .001) compared with -6.9% (95% CI, -8.0% to -5.8%) in the STEP group (P < .001). Although the between-group difference in 18-month weight loss was not statistically different (-1.3 kg [95% CI, -2.8 to 0.2 kg]; P = .09), there was a significant group × time interaction effect (P = .03). The cost per participant was $1357 (95% CI, $1272 to $1442) for the SBWI group vs $785 (95% CI, $739 to $830) for the STEP group (P < .001). Both groups had significant and comparable improvements in resting heart rate, blood pressure level, and fitness.

Conclusions: Among overweight and obese adults, the use of SBWI resulted in a greater mean weight loss than STEP over 18 months. Compared with SBWI, STEP resulted in clinically meaningful weight loss that cost less to implement.

Trial Registration: Identifier: NCT00714168.
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June 2012

Replacing caloric beverages with water or diet beverages for weight loss in adults: main results of the Choose Healthy Options Consciously Everyday (CHOICE) randomized clinical trial.

Am J Clin Nutr 2012 Mar 1;95(3):555-63. Epub 2012 Feb 1.

Department of Nutrition, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7440, USA.

Background: Replacement of caloric beverages with noncaloric beverages may be a simple strategy for promoting modest weight reduction; however, the effectiveness of this strategy is not known.

Objective: We compared the replacement of caloric beverages with water or diet beverages (DBs) as a method of weight loss over 6 mo in adults and attention controls (ACs).

Design: Overweight and obese adults [n = 318; BMI (in kg/m(2)): 36.3 ± 5.9; 84% female; age (mean ± SD): 42 ± 10.7 y; 54% black] substituted noncaloric beverages (water or DBs) for caloric beverages (≥200 kcal/d) or made dietary changes of their choosing (AC) for 6 mo.

Results: In an intent-to-treat analysis, a significant reduction in weight and waist circumference and an improvement in systolic blood pressure were observed from 0 to 6 mo.Mean ((±SEM) weight losses at 6 mo were -2.5 ± 0.45% in the DB group, -2.03 ± 0.40% in the water group, and -1.76 ± 0.35% in the AC group; there were no significant differences between groups [corrected]. The chance of achieving a 5% weight loss at 6 mo was greater in the DB group than in the AC group (OR: 2.29; 95% CI: 1.05, 5.01; P = 0.04). A significant reduction in fasting glucose at 6 mo (P = 0.019) and improved hydration at 3 (P = 0.0017) and 6 (P = 0.049) mo was observed in the Water group relative to the AC group. In a combined analysis, participants assigned to beverage replacement were 2 times as likely to have achieved a 5% weight loss (OR: 2.07; 95% CI: 1.02, 4.22; P = 0.04) than were the AC participants.

Conclusions: Replacement of caloric beverages with noncaloric beverages as a weight-loss strategy resulted in average weight losses of 2% to 2.5%. This strategy could have public health significance and is a simple, straightforward message. This trial was registered at as NCT01017783.
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March 2012

The effect of physical activity on 18-month weight change in overweight adults.

Obesity (Silver Spring) 2011 Jan 10;19(1):100-9. Epub 2010 Jun 10.

Department of Health and Physical Activity, Physical Activity and Weight Management Research Center, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA.

Few studies have been conducted that have examined the long-term effect of different doses of physical activity (PA) on weight change in overweight adults without a prescribed reduction in energy intake. This study examined the effect of different prescribed doses of PA on weight change, body composition, fitness, and PA in overweight adults. Two hundred seventy-eight overweight adults (BMI: 25.0-29.9 kg/m²; age: 18-55 years) with no contraindications to PA were randomized to one of three intervention groups for a period of 18 months. MOD-PA was prescribed 150 min/week and HIGH-PA 300 min/week of PA. Self-help group (SELF) was provided a self-help intervention to increase PA. There was no recommendation to reduce energy intake. MOD-PA and HIGH-PA were delivered in a combination of in-person and telephone contacts across 18 months. 18-month percent weight change was -0.7 ± 4.6% in SELF, -0.9 ± 4.7% in MOD-PA, and -1.2 ± 5.6% in HIGH-PA. Subjects were retrospectively grouped as remaining within ±3% of baseline weight (WT-STABLE), losing >3% of baseline weight (WT-LOSS), or gaining >3% of baseline weight (WT-GAIN) for secondary analyses. 18-month weight change was 0.0 ± 1.3% for WT-STABLE, +5.4 ± 2.6% for WT-GAIN, and -7.4 ± 3.6% for WT-LOSS. 18-month change in PA was 78.2 ± 162.6 min/week for WT-STABLE, 74.7 ± 274.3 for WT-GAIN, and 161.9 ± 252.6 min/week for WT-LOSS. The weight change observed in WT-LOSS was a result of higher PA combined with improved scores on the Eating Behavior Inventory (EBI), reflecting the adoption of eating behaviors to facilitate weight loss. Strategies to facilitate the maintenance of these behaviors are needed to optimize weight control.
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January 2011

The efficacy of a technology-based system in a short-term behavioral weight loss intervention.

Obesity (Silver Spring) 2007 Apr;15(4):825-30

Physical Activity and Weight Management Research Center, University of Pittsburgh, Department of Health and Physical Activity, 140 Trees Hall, Pittsburgh, PA 15261, USA.

Objective: The objective was to examine the efficacy of adding a technology-based program to an in-person, behavioral weight loss intervention.

Research Methods And Procedures: Fifty-seven subjects (BMI=33.1+/-2.8 kg/m2; age=41.3+/-8.7 years) participated in a 12-week intervention with random assignment to Standard In-Person Behavioral Weight Control Program (SBWP) or Intermittent or Continuous Technology-Based Program (INT-TECH, CON-TECH). SBWP subjects received seven individualized weight loss sessions encouraging dietary and exercise modifications. INT-TECH and CON-TECH subjects received all SBWP components; additionally, these groups used a SenseWear Pro Armband (BodyMedia, Inc.) to monitor energy expenditure and an Internet-based program to monitor eating behaviors. These features were used by INT-TECH subjects during weeks 1, 5, and 9 and CON-TECH subjects weekly throughout the intervention.

Results: Intent-to-treat analysis revealed weight loss of 4.1+/-2.8 kg, 3.4+/-3.4 kg, and 6.2+/-4.0 kg, for SBWP, INT-TECH, and CON-TECH groups, respectively (CON-TECH>INT-TECH, p
Discussion: These results indicate that the technology-based program needs to be used continuously throughout the intervention period to significantly impact weight loss. Future studies should examine the long-term and independent effect of this technology on weight loss, and for whom this intervention format is most effective.
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April 2007