Maintenance of weight loss in overweight middle-aged women through the internet

Ellen C. Cussler, Pedro J. Teixeira, Scott B Going, Linda K Houtkooper, Lauve L. Metcalfe, Robert M. Blew, Jennifer R. Ricketts, J'Fleur Lohman, Vanessa A. Stanford, Timothy G Lohman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

75 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1052-1060
Number of pages9
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2008


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Nutrition and Dietetics

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