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

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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

86 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
StatePublished - May 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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