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Activity Tracker, Scale Plus Phone App May Aid Weight Loss

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Weight loss at six months noninferior to same wireless feedback system + human coaching

By Lori Solomon HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, May 16, 2024 (HealthDay News) — Weight loss is similar for individuals using a wireless feedback system (WFS) that provides daily information on lifestyle change and weight loss versus the same system augmented with human coaching, according to a study published online May 14 in the Journal of the American Medical Association. The research was published to coincide with the annual meeting of the European Congress on Obesity, hosted by the European Association for the Study of Obesity from May 12 to 15 in Venice, Italy.

Bonnie Spring, Ph.D., from the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago, and colleagues randomly assigned (1:1) 400 adults (aged 18 to 60 years with a body mass index of 27 to 45 kg/m2) to undergo three months of treatment initially with WFS (Wi-Fi activity tracker and scale transmitting data to a smartphone app) or WFS plus human coaching. Participants with suboptimal weight loss were re-randomly assigned to either a modest or vigorous step-up intervention (supportive messaging via mobile device screen notifications without or with coaching or powdered meal replacement).

The researchers found that six-month weight loss was −2.8 kg for the WFS group and −4.8 kg for participants in the WFS-plus-coaching group (difference in weight change, −2.0 kg). However, the 90 percent confidence interval included the noninferiority margin of −2.5 kg. At three and 12 months, weight change differences were comparable. Among nonresponders, no step-up intervention was superior to another for facilitating weight loss.

“Continued efforts are needed to identify strategies for weight loss management and to accurately select interventions for different individuals to achieve weight loss goals,” the authors write.

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